YES, We Really Do Have Eight!

I love babies. When my babies hit their first birthday, I long once again for that tiny helpless little person that smells like baby powder and doesn't squirm away when you're staring at his beautiful little face. Now don't get me wrong. I love the other stages too. I laugh out loud when I hear the jibber jabber of his first words (Jackson). I giggle when I see one dance hysterically when she hears a Justin Bieber song (Bekkah). I beam with pride when she puts gospel principals into action as she prepares for her upcomming baptism (Emily). I am amazed over and over as he accepts and conquers challenges far beyond his years (Ammon). I burst with pride as I watch his determination and drive in all that he sets his mind to (Zane). I melt when I see the empathy, and concern she has for others (Mckenzie). I have to catch my breath when I see him snuggle with his baby brother (Zachary). I am amazed as I read his letters from his mission (Tres). I guess I just love it all. And this is why I have, despite my horrible pregnancies, we have eight beautiful, talented, amazing, wonderful children!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Perfect Christmas

Sometimes I get so caught up in the holiday festivities that I forget the spirit of Christmas. I read this story and thought I'd share.

The fragrance of gingerbread always makes me think of Suzie and the year I was going to have a perfect Christmas. During past Christmas seasons, I had always been too busy to create the Christmas traditions I felt would build a lifetime of memories for my family. But that Christmas was going to be different. That year my time was my own, and I meant to make every minute of the holiday season count. I would make handpainted ornaments, home-sewn gifts, beautiful decorations, artistically wrapped packages, and baked goods to fill a freezer. I was baking gingerbread men for the tree the day my nine-year-old daughter brought Suzie home from school.
“Mama, this is my new friend, Suzie,” Debbie announced, presenting a rather chubby, cheerful-looking little girl. Suzie reminded me of a California poppy, with her red-gold mop of curly hair and a freckled nose that twitched eagerly as she breathed in the spicy fragrance.
I took two warm gingerbread men from a pan and gave them to Suzie and Debbie. Soon the two girls were helping my seven-year-old son, Mark, hang gingerbread men on the tree. (Of course, the cookies never stayed long on the tree. The children and their friends ate all of them every few days, and we replenished the supply weekly. As a result, our house smelled gingery from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.)
Later, Suzie’s mother telephoned, and in a tired-sounding voice, she asked me to send Suzie home.
The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was still working on my perfect Christmas. I had decided to mail my Christmas cards early, and so I had spread the dining-room table with Christmas cards, address books, stamps, and green- and red-ink pens with which to address the envelopes. I was all set to start when Mark came in.
“Mama, we talked in Primary today about helping other people,” he told me. “Our Primary teacher said a lonely lady in our ward needs help.”
“Oh? What’s the lady’s name?” I asked, wondering if I had met her.
“I can’t remember . . . something long and hard to say,” Mark said, “but Sister Jones wrote it on the blackboard, and I’d remember it if I saw it.”
He went to the desk drawer and pulled out the ward list. After a moment he gave a shout of triumph. “Here it is!” he cried. He thrust the page under my nose, and I glanced at the name by his finger before turning back to address my Christmas cards. The name was difficult to pronounce.
Mark borrowed my pen and drew a green circle around the name in the ward list before putting it back in the drawer.
“I want to go visit that lonely lady and take something to her. Can we make something for her now?” Mark wanted to know.
“Not today, Mark. It’s Sunday, and I don’t bake on Sundays. Besides, this lady doesn’t even know us. Surely she wouldn’t want a visit from strangers,” I explained. “Today we are going to start addressing our Christmas cards. For once I’m going to get our cards mailed before December twenty-third. If you want to help someone, you can help me.”
In the days that followed, Mark persisted in reminding me about the lonely lady. Twice he asked to make something for the woman, but both times I was involved in other projects.
One Tuesday afternoon Suzie again came home with Debbie. That day I was putting together my specialty: a gingerbread train. Each car carried tempting cargo such as breadsticks, candy canes, and cinnamon bears. Suzie’s eyes sparkled when I gave her a few chocolate-chip cookie wheels to “glue” into place with frosting. She ate one of them.
“I wish my Mom made gingerbread trains,” she said. “Last year she made a neat gingerbread house, but this year she said it was too much work.”
“It is a lot of work,” I agreed, remembering the year I had been too busy with church and community duties to make my gingerbread train. The children had been very disappointed that year, but not this year. This year everything would be perfect.
A week later Debbie came home from school just as I was taking a fresh batch of gingerbread men from the oven.
“Too bad Suzie isn’t here,” she said, biting off one cookie foot. “Suzie loves our gingerbread men. She wasn’t in school today, though.”
Debbie set down her cookie, suddenly serious. “They said Suzie’s mama took too many pills, and she’s in the hospital. She might die.”
“Oh, Debbie, are you sure?” I asked in dismay.
Debbie nodded. “Sally Miller told me Sister Miller was at the hospital with Suzie’s mama all night,” she said. Sister Miller was our Relief Society president.
“I didn’t know Suzie was a member of the Church,” I said, surprised. “I’ve never seen her at meetings.”
“Suzie said they used to come all the time before her dad died,” Debbie said. “He got killed in a car accident this summer.”
“Poor Suzie!” I said. “Her poor mother! And I don’t even know her name.”
I called Sister Miller to see if I could be of any help in caring for Suzie during the crisis. I also asked for Suzie’s mother’s name. When she told me, it sounded vaguely familiar. I hung up the phone repeating the name when a devastating thought struck me. With a sinking feeling, I took the ward list from the desk drawer and turned some pages. Yes, there it was, circled in green ink — the name of Suzie’s mother, the name of Mark’s lonely lady whom I had never found time to help.
Suzie was with us that night when we received word that her mother had died.
I asked myself over and over: What if we had gone to visit her when Mark first wanted to? Would it have mattered that we were strangers? Would she have been a little less lonely, a little less desperate? I thought of the tired voice on the telephone, asking me to send Suzie home that first day we made gingerbread.
When Suzie went away a week later to live with her grandparents, we gave her our gingerbread train. The bright eyes that had sparkled as she helped make the train had lost some of their glow, but Suzie managed a little smile and a thank-you.
A gingerbread train. A very small gift. Too little. Too late. As Suzie took a halfhearted nibble from a breadstick, I saw more than a saddened little girl holding a cookie train. I saw myself with painful clarity: a woman so involved with the things of Christmas that I had lost touch with the very spirit of Christmas, without which there can never be a “perfect Christmas.” I would never again forget.
Every holiday season since then, the fragrance of gingerbread reminds me of Suzie . . . and I cry.
(Linda Rire Gundry, Jay A. Parry, Jack M. Lyon, Best-Loved Christmas Stories of the LDS People, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 413-16.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I took my two little girls to the mall yesterday. Emily doesn't have school on Wednesday, and I thought we'd do a little window shopping. We looked at dresses, ate lunch, rode the carousel and Bekkah just sat in the stoller enjoying the sights and sounds. We decided to spend a few minutes in the play area-mostly because I needed to rest. I get so tired of laying around, so when I have a good day and I'm feeling half normal, I tend to over do it. I sat on one of the benches and watched my girls play with all the other children. A lady next to me asked me when I was due, and we got to talking. She asked if this was my third. I laughed (that was so long ago!) "No, it's my eighth" I replied. I heard an audible gasp from a few of the other ladies around me--guess they were listning in. She asked if we wanted a boy or a girl. I told her my one year old had a heart problem and that really we're just hoping for a healthy one. She said, "you know, having a sick baby makes that statement so true." She told me about her last baby and how she had lost her in childbirth a little over a year ago, also because of a heart problem. It turned out her baby had the same thing Bekkah does which is amazing, because I have yet to meet anyone who's ever even heard of it. Most doctors only read about it in thier textbooks. We chatted a little more, mostly about our babies. She was amazed at how well Bekkah looked. Most Ebstein's babies are frail and underdeveloped. My heart broke for her as I watched my pudgy little girl go down the slide over and over. I told her how sorry I was and that I knew a little of her hurt, as we had lost Bekkah's twin. "Maybe they're up there playing together" she said. Well her 3 year old had to go to the bathroom, so we said a quick goodby, and that was it. I sat and thought about Heavenly Father's plan for us. Why did I get my baby and this sweet lady didn't? Why will Bekkah grow up without her twin? Why do I get to have so many of Heavenly Father's children to raise, when I have a sister-in-law who doesn't get any? Though I don't know the reasons we are given the specific trials we are given, I do know they are there for us to learn and to grow. I know my trials make me a stronger person. I watch other people and their struggles and wouldn't trade in a million years. Heavenly Father knows us, and he knows what we can handle, and what will make our faith stronger. I don't know if this kind lady was LDS, but she reminded me of how grateful I am to know the gospel is true and of the great plan of happiness. And as I drove to my nice home, in my big car, with my beautiful children I gave a silent prayer of thanks to my Father in Heaven for all my many blessings.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Tres has finally finished his eagle project. He's been a life scout for over 4 years! He might have beat the Salt River Ward Record previously held by Michael Piercy. He chose to work with a park ranger up in Cave Creek to establish a nature trail. He built and stained the signs and posted them last Saturday. Thanks to Brother Green, Brother Brinkerhoff, Brother Gibson, Sister Thurlow, and all the young men who helped out on Saturday (and their parents who gave up their boys for the day-Cave Creek is a long ways away!) He spent all the week working on his write up and getting signatures. We dropped off his packet at Sister Thurlow's yesterday, exactly one week before his 18th birthday. Way to wait til the last minute Tres! But we're proud of him for sticking it out and getting it done. He's changed his project so many times, I'm glad he stuck with this one. He really enjoys building and nature, so I think it made it easier to get excited about (maybe tolerate is a better word, Tres would just as soon sit in his room with a good book as do anything) Anyway, from the "mom" point of view, I'm glad it's over and I get at least a few years break before the next project. Only two more projects to go--unless the new baby is a boy, cross your fingers for a girl!


Well it finally happened. I knew it was only a matter of time, but secretly hoped it would never come. Ammon and Emily both got a goldfish from the Halloween Carnival at church. We brought them home and put them in an old vase. The next morning I bought some fish food and the "fun" began. There was the constant argument of who's fish was who's (they were identical!), and who got to feed them. Luckily this only lasted about a week. They lost interest of course, and it was all up to mom to keep them alive. Now, I'm expecting, and still very nauseous, so the stench of the fish food, the foul looking water (that needed changing every two days), and those creepy little pulsating gills sent me running to the commode all too often. So a few days later my sweet husband informed me of fish number one's passing (thanks for flushing it dear!) Too my great surprise, and relief neither Emily or Ammon even realized it! Two days pass and so did fishy number 2. This time, Dan wasn't around, so I paid my 16 year old to dispose of the body and the bowl (a buck well spent!) Last night, a week later, we sat at the dinner table and Ammon remembered his fish! I hope that the care for my senior years doesn't fall on him! 15 minutes of tears and a sensitive lecture on the care of our pets pacified the children and off they went to play. I'm really glad they didn't want to have a fish funeral!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yesterday we had our ultrasound for baby number 8. I could hardly sleep the night before. We've had so many problems and so much medication, I had crazy dreams of a baby with three eyes and no legs. The likelihood of heart problems is far greater as well, and thoughts of Bekkah's first months of life kept seeping into my fitful night. The ultasound was a level 2 which means a doctor is present and it's much longer, about two hours. (I'm glad they didn't need me to drink a gallon of water beforehand--not that I would've kept it down anyway) Well I'm thrilled to say that the baby only has two eyes and both legs were accounted for! His/her heart looks good so far, although more tests will be performed throughout the rest of the pregnancy as fetal heart development is ongoing. My placenta ruptured with Bekkah, so they also checked for early warning signs of that and none were detected. I'm feeling a lot better now, though I know the next 4 months will still be a little tense. The fun part of the ultrasound came when the tech asked if we wanted to know the sex. I handed her an envelope with a card in it that had the words "boy" and "girl" with a box next to it she could check. We closed out eyes while she looked (we've had quite a few of these so I'm pretty sure we'd have figured it out). After the ultrasound Dan went to work and I went shopping! Mervyns has gift wrap so I found two identical outfits, one blue and one pink, and took them to customer service with my envelope. I instructed the clerk to open the envelope, wrap up the appropriate outfit along with the envelope and wrap it up in yellow paper. I told her to make sure she hid the other one under the counter so I wouldn't see it when I went up to pay and she just tossed the receipt. She was so excited, on my way out I heard her telling all the other clerks about it. We'll open the present Christmas morning, I can hardly wait! I really have no feeling on what it is. It would be convenient to have another girl, as we have all the clothes, and a she could share a room with the other two. Plus we'd have four of each. But I haven't had a boy in a long time, and I just love the cute little shoes they make. Truly though, it makes no differnce to me, I just want a healthy baby and uneventful pregnancy-well the rest of it anyway! Not too much to ask, right?!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Did you ever have a family home evening that was just great?

Let me give you some insight to our normal home evenings. We're always running behind schedule, dinner gets started late, dishes take to long, hubby's home late, whatever the reason, we NEVER start at 7:00. Then there's the fight as to what song to sing. The older children don't know the primary songs, and the younger ones don't know the hymns. The prayer fight follows, of course. (I really need a chart!) The lesson, often done by a not so enthusiastic teenager, drags a little, Bekkah throws things, Emily starts giggling, Ammon can't sit still to save his life and Zach is poking someone. If the spirit was felt at all, it is now gone. Then the fighting starts up again, what song and who's turn for prayer. 8:00 hits, there's no time for a game, and the crying begins.
Ok, maybe it's not always that bad, but it's not often that it's "great".

Last night was great! I didn't spend hours preparing like I should, and we still didn't start on time, but we felt the spirit. The object lesson, and talk on individual worth were fun and interesting (Thank you lds living! The lesson is automatically emailed to me on Monday mornings) Everyone, even Zach, was well behaved and took part when called upon. We had time to play Fruit Basket (a form of musical chairs) and everyone loved it. Even the songs were easily chosen (Popcorn Popping and Sunbeam, cause they love to watch Bekkah try and do it)
I'm grateful for the wise counsel given to us to hold FHE every week and for a family that supports me in following this counsel. And even though they are not always "great", I know that my family is closer because we take the time to make it happen.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

6 year olds and politics

Yesterday Ammon had his 6 year old cousin Brandon over for a little while. They were playing in the front yard when Brandon noticed a stake sticking up out of the ground. He asked if he could pull it out, and Ammon said "no, it's for our prop 102 sign. Someone stole the poster that was attached to it!" Brandon asked what the sign was for. This is where my sweet little boy explained in detail to his cousin how we don't think boys should marry boys and girls should marry girls. He told him that Heavenly Father didn't want it that way and now we have to vote to make sure they don't make it a law. I couldn't decide if I was proud of him for his simple yet accurate description, or sad that a little boy lived in a world where he knew about these things.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Zachary Caleb Huston & Daniel Ray Huston III

I'm putting Tres and Zach together because they're really close and when I finish them I get my own blog!! So I'll start with Tres.

He LOVES to read and play video games! He's super smart and can tell you just about anything! I go to him with just about any homework question! He loves to fish, then eat the fish. His favorite show it Bizarre Foods, I have no clue why cause when I watch it it makes want to vomit!

Tres is an amazing person!

Zach likes video games and is always playing them! He also loves to do puzzles and is really smart! He has his Eagle rank in boy scouts. Zach is one of my favorite big brothers, what he doesn't know is that I really look up to him, and not because he's tall, because he is really fun and kind. I look up to both of these people a lot!

Zane Alexander Huston

Zane is a smart kid but sometimes he gets a big head about it. He is really funny and great with kids. He's an awesome scout and big brother. I personally think he's the lucky one in the family because he has it easy. The rest of us have 6 teachers a day!! Sure Ammon and Emily have only one too but they're in the easy grades! Zane is a great friend to all and fun to be with!

He loves to read and is doing it constantly! After he finishes a book he makes a game out if it and plays it with Ammon & Emily. He also has a great imagination, he loves to make up games and play them with siblings, friends, and sibling's friends.

Overall Zane is an awesome dude!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Half way there!!

I'm 20 weeks today!! How come it feels like I've been pregnant forever? I added up all of my pregnancies and realized I've been throwing up for over 5 and a half years of my life. That's a lot of time at the porcelain throne! Well they're worth every minute of it. I can hardly wait for number 8!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ammon John Huston -by Mckenzie

OK well thus is the third of 7 1/2 kids. Ammon is one of the smartest 6-year-olds I know!!! He's in first grade at O'Connor Elemantry, and he is the only kid (so far) that hasn't been to our old school, Montessori! He would be doing really great there because they let you do work from other grades, and he could use that!! He's really smart. And when I say smart, he was doing 2nd grade math in kindergarten, and complained it was too easy!

I don't remember too much about first grade, but I do remember I learning to read, and THAT was a challenge! But not for this kid! In kindergarten he was reading at a 2nd grade level! He loves to read to his younger siblings and it's so cute watching him do it!

My mom and he went to meet the teacher this year and were looking at the work books. They skipped to the last page and had him do it, easy peasy! He was done in 5 minutes!!

He has a lot of friends, more than I have! If Ammon isn't inside playing video games he's outside making enough noise to wake up a bear! I have no clue what they play but it must be exciting! He is so caring! When they are playing outside if someone gets hurt or is thirsty, he runs in the house to get them what they need!! I love this kid. He is an awesome little dude. He is no ordinary six year old, he's Ammon John Huston!

Getting There

Today I got my PICC line removed, Hurray! It was kind of a forced removal, as my cellulitis was getting increasingly worse, and I was afraid I'd get another infection and end up back in the "H" word. I'm so tired of the hospital I'm seriously considering home birth. (Dan's not going for it though) It's amazing I didn't pull it out myself the way I was always getting tangled up in the tubing. But the end is in sight--almost to the halfway point. OK so I really have a long way to go, but it's important to think positive, right? Another few weeks and I ought to be functioning normally again. Does that mean I have to start cleaning again?!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well it's finally happened, my counselors, secretary and I were all released on Sunday. I knew it was coming, but I just wasn't ready. Maybe you're never ready to leave a calling you love. I've loved serving in every calling I've had, but have never felt so sad and empty as I have this time. Maybe it's hormones. Being old and pregnant I'm sure doesn't help matters any.

I thought I'd go through and delete all the "stuff" that accumulated on my computer over the last three years. Maybe a little bit of closure will help. As I dragged and dropped files to the trash can, a flood of memories washed over me. With tears streaming down my face, I remembered the activity day when the children flicked chocolate covered marshmallows at the bishopric and the sunny Thanksgiving morning when they released 100 balloons into the air. There were several primary programs, and sharing time ideas. The template I used to make up the baptism program for 27 children. And pictures, so many pictures of softall and kickball, of activities and Halloweens, of Christmas programs and cubscouts. I have to admit, I couldn't delete the pictures, it was just too much!

Then I got to my email. Emails from Tami, Jodee and Michale about upcomming events and concerns with scouts or baptisms. I relied so heavily on their input, ideas and hard work. These three women are the reason primary ran so smoothly. Words can not express how grateful I am to them and how much I will always cherish the time we spent together seving in the Lord's Kingdom. There were years worth of emails to Brother Penrod, Brother Bogle and Brother Allen about callings and meetings. How grateful I am to them for their support. I'm sure I drove them crazy! There were reminders and invitations to special meetings from both Citrus Heights and Alta Mesa Stakes. Memories of day camps and Scouting for Food came rushing back. There were emails from Bishop Walker and Bishop Jarvis counseling me on how to work with struggling children, reminding me of the tender moments when these little ones would come to me with their fears and frustrations. Nearly 800 emails later my heart was aching as I hit the delete button over and over.

I need to stay busy and not think about it I decided. So yesterday I cleaned my kitchen top to bottom - even the baseboards. I sorted a stack of papers that had been piling up on the counter for a while - more primary stuff to throw out. I organized my little girls' room and bagged up outgrown clothes. There I found Emily's sunbeam packet, more primary stuff. I spot cleaned the carpet (Bekkah has decided her sippy cup can also double as an exciting drawing instument and has created quite a mural on my gray carpet-no more grape juice Bekkah!) and near the piano I found a misshapen CTR ring, another primary reminder. By noon I was tired and decided to lay down with the baby, after all I am still sick and I haven't slept well since the Bishop's visit last week. Sleep never came, just more tears. I got up and cleaned the garage while searching for the Halloween decorations. There were leftover water guns and plastic swimming pools from a summer primary activity day. Then when the kids came home from school we finished up homework and baked a couple pies. I spent some more time on our family home evening lesson and while on the computer ran across a few more things to delete. Everywhere I turn are reminders of a calling that was so much a part of my life. It was then I realized, blocking out the memories is not the answer. It can't be done, it was what I was for nearly three years.

Time will lesson the hurt and new callings will take away the empty feeling. Projects around the house and activities with my family will fill my time. But I will never forget these wonderful innocent children who filled my time, my prayers and my heart!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Emily Anne Huston-by Mckenzie

OK well this is the second of my tribute to my family members. It's taken a little longer for the second because I've had to do a little more investigating for Emily. Well Emily is super cute!! She started pre-school and absolutely loves it!!! I mean who doesn't love pre-school? You get snacks, play time, and the all important nap!! I wish I got even one of those things! (Unless you count the 4 minutes I have in between classes!) She only has half days but she sure wishes it was full day!!!
Emily loves to play dress up. So you can expect her to come out four or five times a day with a new mis-matched outfit. Some are unbelievably ugly just because she didn't match something right. She might be trying to start a new trend or something but it's not working!! I love her anyway.
During the summer she's constantly out side without sun screen! This summer my mom tried to keep it on her but didn't so well and she ended up with a really bad sun burn! But she LOVES to play out side in our circle with her friends. They get out a little pool we have and set it up in the front yard. It's really funny because sometimes I come home from some where and there's like 8 kids in our front yard. We might as well be the neighborhood hang out! Even in the winter they play in the backyard! On a normal day there's 5-6 kids running around in the front yard and/or backyard. I don't know half of them!
Emily has imaginary friends. She loves to play with them! They have sleepovers, tea party's, play dates etc. The weird part is just when you want one to be around, their all sick! But if they're not sick, they've moved to China, CHINA! This 4-year-old has a very active imaginary.
Now as I'm typing this Emily is playing ballerina. She spins around with her arms in the air. It's really funny when Bekkah starts doing it too. She just sort of puts her arms in the air and spins in circles! It's pretty funny.
I hope by now you realize I love my little sister and love to play with her! She may be annoying and in the way at times but most of the time I couldn't love her more!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

THANK YOU --for listening to the spirit

I got a phone call from a treasured friend today telling me that she was already in the car and asking if my Emily could come over to play for the afternoon. She was on my doorstep a few minutes later to pick her up. I can only imagine what I looked like, half asleep on my couch with an IV pole attached to me. There just wasn't time to put on my "I'm feeling great!" face. A few hours later she returned with my very happy four year old, and dinner for my family. What my dear friend didn't know, was how I hadn't even begun to think about dinner, truthfully just the thought of grocery shopping, sends me to the porcelain throne. What this sweet sister didn't know, was that my husband had a dentist appointment after work and wouldn't be home to help me feed my seven hungry, and sometimes not so helpful, children. What my treasured friend didn't know was that her simple gesture turned my bored and whiny preschooler into a happy little princess again.Sometimes thoughts come to our minds, and we might think, "oh that just doesn't fit into my schedule" or "next week would be much better for me", but when we listen to the spirit lives are changed and burdens are lightened. I'm grateful to the people in our ward who listen. I'm grateful for the service given to my family. I'm grateful to my presidency for making my calling easy. I'm grateful for my treasured friends.Thank you Christy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rebekkah Abigail Huston-by Mckenzie

Ok this is a new feature every week or so I (McKenzie,) will add a spotlight on one of my family members. This week its the youngest Rebekkah, the smallest child (so far.)
Rebekkah is VERY funny. She has a weird obsession with cheese. One time we were at the movies and i was holding her. Bekkah was fine until my dad asked if I wanted some nachos and cheese. She all the sudden sat up and started looking for the cheese!! It was pretty funny.
Another story about cheese happened last night. I was playing with her in her room and i saw a slice of plastic cheese and thought it would be funny if i gave it to her. She took it tied to eat it then when she couldn't eat it she threw it! So i gave it back to her. She took it then tried to eat for like, 5 minutes!!! It was pretty funny.
Bekkah is a couch potato. She loves to watch TV. She sits down in front of it and just watches! Sometimes she even takes a pillow to sit on or just stands in front of it.
Rebekkah can dance too. If theres music on and she's not already dancing you just say "Dance Bekkah!" And she'll shake her head and move her feet.
Bekkah is also mischievous. Yesterday was her first day being home with out any brothers and sisters so she ,of course, made a mess. She took and open water bottle with a spout and squirted all over the carpet! So when you walked around every few steps *squish* you stepped in water.
Even when she makes a mess no matter how big, she can cute her way out of it. All she does is smile and giggle. Works every time.
No matter what Bekkah does she's always cute and cuddly. The way she giggles in the bath, when your sick and she gives you a hug, the way she screams when she doesnt get her way, when she does her little dance, when she does her little pout and sticks her lip out, when she talks her language while looking at you real seriously, the way she screams when she's happy, even when she cries you cant help but laugh. These are the things that make Rebekkah Abigail Huston fun to live with.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Number eight is on the way!

Yes, apparently the Huston clan is not yet complete. We will be bringing in a new little one to our home. He or she will arrive the early part of March. This news came a little (ok, A LOT) unexpected, but we are all thrilled! Since I was still nursing, we really had no idea of a due date, so we got an early picture of our baby. Looks just like daddy!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Girls Camp (my mom made me do this)

So ya Girls Camp. It was cool. Our theme this year was "How the West was ONE" they really emphasized on the ONE part. Monday we had a huge party. We had a dance smores and roping. After the party President Jarvis had moms that had sons talk to us about the kind of girl they want their sons to marry. So we learned about that and it was really cool. Tuesday we went on a hike and it wasn't that hard actually. We walked about a mile up to a creek hung there for like an hour then walked back. 2 minutes after we got back it started raining!!! Then it rained harder. Then it hailed!!! And the third years weren't back for their hike yet!! So we had to sit in out cabin for like an hour. it wasn't that bad though cause we had chocolate, oreos, and peanut butter!!! All we did was tell funny stories but it was one of my favorite days. That night we went on a "snipe" hunt. We had to put tooth paste on our faces! After we heard that we knew snipes wernt real. We went anyway. But only the YCLs were allowed to bring flash lights!! So we left and they told us to watch out for bears. So i got too scared and came back be for the "bear" attack. Tuesday we also had a Horseless Rodeo. We had roping, a cherry pit spit, hair curling, and bingo. The record for the cherry spit pit was 25 ft!! Hair curling all we did was tie out hair up in rags and it came out SUPER curly!!!! It was really cool!!!But my FAVORITE part was singing trees. Each ward sang a song and had flashlight pointing up at the trees. If you used a little imagination it really looked like the trees were singing. I ALMOST cried during that. The other times i felt the spirit REALLY strongly was whenever President Jarvis spoke to us. Even if it was a simple "hi" or "how are you?" i felt the spirit. Well those were the high light of my girls camp experience!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Family by Mckenzie

Since its called the Huston FAMILY Blog I'm going to add to what my mom wrote. This is my view of my family and some stories I find funny.
Rebekkah recently turned one and for her birthday she got a little red wagon. She is very protective of this toy. A few days ago my cousin Sydney spent the night. and she thought it would be funny to take Rebekkah's wagon. when Bekkah saw that Sydney had her wagon she went over, laughed and took the wagon back. then Sydney took it again, this time Bakkah got serious. she went over, screamed at Sydney, grabbed the wagon, and walked away.
She really likes her wagon.
Emily is four and has about 15 different imaginary friends. She loves to play and sing with them, but just when you want one to appear out of no where to play with her, she says their all sick. This gets annoying at times cause then you need to make up a new one for her so she'll go play.
Ammon is super smart and should be going into third grade instead of first in my opinion. One time my mom bought him a second grade math book thinking it would keep him busy for a few Sundays. He finished by the end of sacrament meeting the first day.
Zane is nine and is always doing something. Whether its reading, playing video games, playing with friends, or making up a new game to play, he always has time for family.
Zach is 16 and recently got a job at Sonic. He thinks he's so cool beacause he's going to get checks and a debit card. But the thing about him that really makes me laugh is how easily amazed he is. Last night for example they went to an ice cream place after scouts. he came home super excited about this place. He said "Dad they have FOUR different cereal toppings!!" My dad said "You mean like lucky charms?" "No dad! like fruity pebbles!" The whole thing was really funny.
Tres is a great older brother and homework helper. You can ask him almost any question about almost any subject and he knows it. Last year when I was taking advanced math and my mom couldn't help me he was always there.
You'd think being a teenager I would be on the phone all the time and my mom would keep telling me to get off. At our house its the other way around. My mom could stay on the phone for hours and the only way to get her off is to keep saying "mom mom mom mom mom MOTHER!!!"(do not try this at home) This doesn't always work though.
My dad has six brothers and when they get together they get a little...competitive. One Sunday we were having a family party at our house and our uncles found an old pogo stick in our back yard. So they decided to have a contest to see who could stay on the longest. My dad took one bounce then fell off an hit his head. Then he refuses to go to the ER because its Sunday.
Lastly there's me, age 12. Last year I was awarded the American Citizenship Award and the Presidential Gold Award for scholastic achievement. I love babysitting and kids. If I'm not reading a good book you can bet I'm online chatting with my friends.
This is my view of our family and I couldn't ask for a better one.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My husband says that if I can post an embarrassing moment of his (see "If it ain't broke..."), then I need to include one of mine. He assured me my BYU devotional moment was the one. You must understand, I worked at "The Pie" pizzeria until 2am that morning, so by the time the devotional rolled around, I was quite tired. I sat between a couple of good friends, and must have dozed a little. I woke up and saw that everyone around me had also dozed off. I leaned over to my friend and said, "look, he's so boring, everyone fell asleep." She kept telling me to be quiet and waved me off. Of course, me being a little punchy from the lack of sleep, I leaned over to my other friend and said the same thing, "every one's asleep, wow is this guy boring!" She shushed me too! "What was wrong with these girls," I had thought, "this was hilarious!" Then at that moment, I heard the collective, "Amen" Wow, was I embarrassed! And just for fun, I'll tell you who the speaker was, Gordon B. Hinckley! I'm glad he has a great sense of humor! I hope to apologize one day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The "Mom" song to the tune of William Tell Overture - 123k

Get up nowGet up nowGet up out of bedWash your faceBrush your teethComb your sleepyheadHere’s your clothes and your shoesHear the words I saidGet up now! Get up and make your bedAre you hot? Are you cold?Are you wearing that?Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?Grab your coat and gloves and your scarf and hatDon’t forget! You gotta feed the catEat your breakfast, the experts tell us it’s the most important meal of allTake your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tallPlease remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at 3 todayDon’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must playDon’t shovelChew slowlyBut hurryThe bus is hereBe carefulCome back hereDid you wash behind your ears?Play outside, don’t play rough, will you just play fair?Be polite, make a friend, don’t forget to shareWork it out, wait your turn, never take a dareGet along! Don’t make me come down thereClean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff awayMake your bed, do it now, do we have all day?Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?Can you even hear a word I say?Answer the phone! Get off the phone!Don’t sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the tableNo more computer time tonight!Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen upWhere are you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home?Saying thank you, please, excuse me makes you welcome everywhere you roamYou’ll appreciate my wisdom someday when you’re older and you’re grownCan’t wait till you have a couple little children of your ownYou’ll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willinglyBut right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at meClose your mouth when you chew, would appreciateTake a bite maybe two of the stuff you hateUse your fork, do not burp or I’ll set you straightEat the food I put upon your plateGet an A, get the door, don’t get smart with meGet a grip, get in here, I’ll count to threeGet a job, get a life, get a PHDGet a dose of,“I don’t care who started it!You’re grounded until you’re 36″Get your story straight and tell the truth for once, for heaven’s sakeAnd if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump, too?If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least a thousand times beforeThat you’re too old to act this wayIt must be your father’s DNALook at me when I am talkingStand up straighter when you walkA place for everything and everything must be in placeStop crying or I’ll give you something real to cry aboutOh!Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your PJs onGet in bed, get up here, say a prayer with momDon’t forget, I love youAnd tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom’s work never endsYou don’t need the reason whyBecause, because, because, becauseI said so, I said so, I said so, I said soI’m the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

If it ain't broke...

Things tend to break in our house. Oh, I'm not talking about McDonalds toys (we don't get those anyway because we'd have to take out a loan to afford it with our big group!) I'm talking appliances, furniture, cars that sort of thing. I'm very blessed to have a handy husband. He can fix anything. And I've learned a lot from him over the years. Recently our dishwasher broke...again. It just wasn't getting things clean. So Dan took it all apart and found this piece that looked kind of odd. It had this white and red plundger thing that resembled the pop up timer in a turkey, and it just didn't seem to fit snuggly in the hole. So Dan went to the appliance part store and showed the guys there. They agreed that it was a poor design and they didn't carry anything like that. Well he came home cleaned it all out good, removed some debris and put it all back together. It worked for a while, but then the same thing happened, again he took it all apart. Same thing, and he just couldn't seem to get that part to fit. Well with closer obseration we discoered that it was indeed the pop up turkey timer from last Thanksgiing that had somehow made it's way through the filter into the inside of the dishwasher. It works great now that he removed it!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Chores times seven!

With a family of nine, cleaning is a constant battle. We do two loads of dishes, and three loads of laundry every day. We have a "put away whatever you get out" policy. It isn't always followed, but we try. I believe in teaching a work ethic. Everyone in the house has a responsibility to contribute to the upkeep of our home. As any mother knows, it's much easier (and done much better) when we just do the chores ourselves. But I think that is a disservice to our children. And so this is how it goes.

Every day at 5:30pm it's chore time. This ensures that the house is clean when dad get's home from work. If friends are at our house, they go home, or help clean. Everyone has three chores plus 10 minutes cleaning time in thier room and 10 articles of clothing to put away. The chores include things such as garbage, dishes, clearing the table, vaacuuming, bathrooms etc. Everyone has the same chores every day. I used to try and rotate every week, but it was too much brain power! Every school year we switch up the chore list. That way they have a whole year of experience and they really get quite good at it.

In addition to 5:30 chores they have evening chores. Dad has made a simple spread sheet that tells who makes dinner, does dinner dishes, or the evening laundry load. They look at the chart and see what they are on that night. Little kids are paired with big kids, which, in theory, means the younger ones learn from the older ones. (That doesn't always happen and occasionally a fight breaks out) But they all know what's expected and rarely complain.

Saturday chores are at noon every Saturday. Everyone must fold 5 pairs of thier own socks from the "sock basket" (this ensures no sock hunting in the mornings before school), they each have a ZONE in the basement to clean up, they each do a pot from the sink if there are any, and they have some type of yard work, usually a hoola hoop full of weeds, or 10 minute clean up in the back yard. Then they get to pick one set of chores from the list. For example "clean patio and landing" or "clean windows/mirrors and mate dark socks" Since they have the freedom to pick, those who start chores on time get to pick the easier ones, and those who slack end up filling up our green barrell (most hated Saturday chore) Then of course, regular chores at 5:30pm.

Amazingly this system really works. Oh sure, there is occasional grumbling, but for the most part things go smoothly. So if you ever want to see the Huston house clean, come by around 6pm, cause it doesn't last long!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Rebekkah, our little miracle

Our little Bekkah has a rare heart defect called Ebstein's Anomoly which is a deformity of the tricuspid valve. She also has Wolf Parkinsons White Syndrome which makes her heart beat too fast. We found out on August 2nd when I took her to see her pediatrition because she had a stuffy nose. I felt ridiculous for going, (no mother of 7 takes her child in for a "stuffy nose") But I went none the less. When I got there the Doctor said it was just a cold. He listened to her heart. Then he listened again. He went and got a nurse to listen and then sent me straight to the emergency room to get an EKG. Her heart was beating 270 beats a minute. It's called supraventricular tachicardia. (Infants heart rate should be anywhere from 120-150 bpm) They filled a bag full of ice and held it on her face to try and convert her back to a normal heart rate. It worked for a little while, but kept speeding back up. They admitted her to the PICU. There were many scary moments, but none as scary as when they pushed Dan and I to the side, filled the room with a team of doctors and nurses, and gave her a shot of Adenosine to stop her heart. There was an erie silence while we all watched to see if it would start back up on it's own. That was the longest three seconds of my life. She spent 11 days in the PICU while they tried to figure out the right medications tocontrol her little heart. They used up all of her veins for IV's and ended up putting in a central line. When she was stable and we were ready to go home, they took it out and a blood clot formed. We were sent to the hematology wing for 3 more days while they played around with the right dosage of blood thinners for her. After 14 days we got to take her home, along with a heart monitor, shots in her stomach twice a day and 5 doses of medicine throughout the day. What a nightmare! Later we found out she has a rare blood disorder that has to do with clotting and her homocystein levels. Another medication was added. We check her heart every couple hours and give her medicine three times a day (it tastes like marshmallows! We joke that when she gets older she'll hate smores)

She turns one on July 2nd. There have been times when we didn't think we'd be able to keep her so this is a joyous milestone for our family. Throughout the year we've had many more scary moments, more hospitol stays, and more Adenosine. Bekkah is stable for now, and we all adore her. She has given us a wonderful gift. She has reminded us to enjoy every moment we have together and not to take life for granted.

About Me

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Our lives are dedicated to the Lord, we live by this creed: Be clean Be grateful Be humble Be prayerful Be smart Be true Be positive Be involved Be still, We BE the Hustons!


(and sometimes not so much)