Saturday, January 2, 2010


We threw a last minute new years party at our house. Asia had packed a couple of fancy schmancy dresses, we were trying to figure out how to incorporate them in our night of laid back gaming and food. We decided that it would be funny to answer the door wearing what you see above, knowing that our friends would be dressed pretty low key. We had fun with our little prank, and loved seeing the surprised faces of our friends when we asked them if they had missed the memo on formal attire!
Asia ended up going over to a girls house from our ward and partied with a TON of 13 year old girls. I guess they had a blast, and we were glad she could hang with some girls her age.
My HOT friend Kim, the friendship we developed with her and her hub Ty is DEFINITELY one of the best things that happened to us in 2009!
Krystal and Bobby, he heads back to Iraq in February, we'll see if we can help keep her distracted while he's gone. We Love them!

2009 in summary:

I have to say that we are RELIEVED to put 2009 in the history books. It had been a TOUGH year for our family, like it has been for so many others. We (like many here in Vegas) were hit HARD by the fall of the housing market. After many months of stress and anguish as we watched the value of our home decline $250k, we decided to short sale the sucker! It seemed to take FOREVER to finally close, but we were lucky to have the sale go through. On the upside we were able to move in to an amazing home this summer, and we are excited to be in it for many years to come. We doubled our square footage, gained a fabulous back yard and pool, and lowered our house payment!

January of last year we began the seemingly never ending testing of Lucas and Tyson. We noticed that Lucas did not have any words at about 19 months and felt concerned. After many tests, doctors, specialists etc. it was thought that he was deaf. We scheduled him for hearing aids and went to get the final test at the hospital. He was sedated to be able to gage where to set the hearing aids. After the test, the doctor walked out and gave us the good and bad news. Good news: he apparently hears fine, bad news: that means a brain processing issue. More specialists, more testing, more waiting. In the end we found an amazing specialist, she is the only Pediatric Neuropsychologist in Southern Nevada, and is fantastic. After about 10 sessions with her, she diagnosed him with Autism. Since that time, we have had therapists in our home about 4 days a week. In the mean time, (while we were having Lukey evaluated by every resource available), we took advantage of one of the state funded resources and had Tyson evaluated for his "parroting/echolalia". He was diagnosed through the school district on the Autism spectrum as well. Tyson is very high functioning and actually displays a closer similarity to what is called "Hyperlexia". He is attending a specialized preschool program at the elementary school 4 days a week and on his day off, works with a therapist at our home. He is THRIVING! He loves his friends, his teachers, riding the bus home, having parties at our house, being the center of attention, etc. He learned to swim this summer all by himself and could literally swim across the pool a couple of months after his 3rd birthday. He is currently learning how to sound out words we read in books. He loves life and is a joy (and challenge:) to have in our family.
Luke has grown leaps and bounds. He still is with out words, but has progressed tremendously. He is a very smart little guy, he loves to do puzzles, sort objects, eat yo-go's, play trains, dig in the sand and kiss his mommy. He is learning to stick up for himself with Tyson, and I have to say I don't usually step in when he does:) He is gorgeous and sweet and we wouldn't trade him for anything! We are thrilled to have a functioning, smart, loving little guy, and are trying to find the keys to unlock his language. At times we get a little bit down with our challenging situation, but realize how blessed we are to have beautiful high functioning kids that with a little extra work will be on the paths to happy successful lives!

This summer we were surprised with the information that Jim has a 13 year old daughter. This news was confirmed in July and we began communications with her at that time. I'm so grateful that we live in the day in age of the internet. We met her for the first time in August when she came to Vegas. We spent time with her in September in her home town of Twin Falls, ID, and then she flew down in October and November, and of course this past week with her. She is a gorgeous, amazing young lady, and I can't say how happy we are to have the opportunity to be involved in her life. She has all the the males in my house smitten, and as I've said before, I so LOVE having another girl around. It's been an adjustment of course, as neither of us (especially Jim:) have very much experience with 13 year old girls. We're happy to have the ability to see her each month, but so wish we could see her even more!

I'm not going to lie, these "challenges" have taken a toll on Jim and I. And we are definitely learning that marriage takes WORK! We are blessed to have good friends, an AMAZING bishop, and a fantastic counselor to help us deal with these different trials. We have decided to "weed out" the things in our life that are not of utmost importance to us and our marriage. We are learning to make one another a priority above ANYTHING else (except of course our Heavenly Father and his Son). We are trying to find a way to serve one another each day. Sometimes it works, sometimes we fail. Sometimes we argue, sometimes we don't. We are striving to "fall in love" with one another again so we can have a solid foundation to deal with things as they come our way. I have learned that I literally hit the jack pot when I married Jim, I had NO idea how LUCKY I was, and what kind of man he would turn out to be. I'm grateful everyday (even on the sucky days) that I some how got to be his wife.

Probably the biggest thing I have learned in 2009 is perspective. You can not control what life throws at you, but you CAN control the perspective you take on it-that will determine one's attitude and how they handle themselves. At different times in 2009 my perspective has been skewed and when that has happened it has affected my life in a negative way. My New Year's Resolution is to take the time to analyze and evaluate my perspective on what life throws at us. (it's also to kick some serious P90X butt and get Smokin' hot for my 30th birthday in August!) We are so grateful for the innumerable blessing we have in our life, and look forward to making 2010 our best year thus far!

We wish you all a wonderful and prosperous Happy New Year!

New Years with a 3 year old...

This is what happens when you leave a 3 year old alone upstairs. Nice. He does look a little crazy in the 1st pictures, but he was trying to tell us he got shaving cream in "the eyes."

Freemont with Asia

Asia flew in the day after Christmas and was able to stay for a week! We went to church, hit Freemont street, did a little shopping, went to the Springs Preserve, had a new years party (she also went to one with some girls from church), had a great time playing games at the Harmons, and in between all of that we actually chilled and relaxed a ton! It was nice to get some one on one time with her, and have her involved with our everyday life. Tyson is already asking "where's Asia at?" and she's only been gone a couple of hours.

Christmas 2009

Tyson "helped" everyone open presents...
He helped daddy pick out a new robe for me and was proud that it is "soooooo soft mommy!"
Luke could have cared less about opening presents, he spent the whole time playing with just 2 least we knew he liked them.
We had my parents and brother join us for Christmas this year, it was so nice. Last year we decided that we were going to stay home from then on for Christmas. So, we invited a few other families for over for a little party on Christmas Eve. Well, this year our 'little' party evolved into something bigger! We had a ROCKIN' time here at our house with a ton of great food, a priceless Nativity Play put on by about 15 kids, followed by some amazing singing of Christmas songs, and then each family performed a musical number. It was so fun and we can't wait to do it again next year! We had a ton of video, but I didn't get any pics on our camera. Dang!

Magical Forest @ Opportunity Village

Kickin' it on the Choo Choo!
Tyson competing in the Tricycle race, of COURSE he won! Look at that concentration!
Lucas LOVED the slide!
We try and go to the Magical Forrest every year. We saw santa and all the decorated trees and rode the rides. I sometimes feel like it's a little bit pricey, but then I remind myself of the great cause the money is used for. Plus, the kids dig it!


Jim turned 34, we had his birthday with the Harmon's and his parents...
We hosted Thanksgiving, and for some reason didn't take any other pictures than the boys in the hot tub. (Lucas, Jim, Matt [my cousin], Brandon [my brother], and Tyson. We had a great time, and ate our feast at our house with my grandpa and his wife, my parents and brother, my aunt and her husband and 2 kids, and of course ourselves. It was SOOOOO Fun!
Lukey's hair grew even shaggier (if that's even a word:)
And continued with LOTS of therapy. Lukey is doing a gesture that Marissa had him to in order to get a light brite piece. Busy month, we were thankful to have survived!