Thursday, April 23, 2009

Brandon is 12

Brandon turned 12 on April 17. I really can't believe that my little baby is not little anymore.

Turning 12 also meant that he would be ordained a Deacon. I figured I would be emotional, especially being pregnant and tired, but I wasn't fully prepared for the sweet experience of watching Dan ordain Brandon. Brandon is such a good example to both Dan and me. There are many times when I think that I need to get my act together and follow the lead of my children.

Brandon likes to set goals. So do I. The difference is that he actually accomplishes them. One of the goals he set for himself earlier this year was to read The New Testament before he turned 12. We realized that if he did this he would have read all the Standard Works. I am 34 and I have yet to read all the Standard Works from cover to cover. We encouraged Brandon to read but also told him that it was OK if he didn't finish. What he had already done was pretty amazing. On Easter Sunday, 5 days before his birthday, we read the last chapter of Revelations with Brandon. I hope that we can continue to focus on the Scriptures and that as the tough teenage years come, our children will be able to turn to the Scriptures for answers.

We celebrated Brandon's birthday on Sunday the 19th because he was on a Scout camping trip for his actual birthday. Our boys get to request whatever dinner and cake they want for their birthdays so that meant that we would have spaghetti. Brandon loves spaghetti. He also requested corn on the cob, the 5 (or is it 7?) layer chocolate cake from Costco, and homemade vanilla ice cream. It was a good dinner. A nice way to end a nice day. I'm grateful to my parents who were able to be here for the occasion.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Adios, Nana

My Nana passed away on Friday, April 3, 2009. She was 86 years old.

She was the only grandparent I remember. She was my mom's mother.

My Nana was a funny lady. Just last Saturday all of my sisters were together and we were able to visit with her. We told her that we would be by on Monday to sing to her and we hoped she could get out of bed to dance. She quickly put up her arms and started to pretend to dance.

I have many memories of her. When I was little my family would go to San Luis, Mexico just about every Saturday and visit her. Every once in a while I would stay with her for a week during the summers.

There I learned that 5am is a good time to get up and make coffee and go outside and water all the plants. It is also a good time to sweep the dirt. I learned how to wash clothes by hand. She had a "lavadero" outside and we would lather up a bar of soap and start to scrub our clothes.

She made the best tamales and tortillas. I remember her taking a small ball of dough and start to pat it. She would keep patting this dough until she had a tortilla at least a foot and a half in diameter. She would let me try. I could never make them nearly as thin or as round as she could.

She also loved to tease me. She knew I was gullible and once told me that she had put cockroaches in the dinner and I believed her.

She taught me about making do with what you have. The only TV set in her house was in the bedroom. Her room was an extension of the kitchen and we would always gather in there. She always liked to show us her "remote control." It was a long stick. She could be in her bed and reach out and push the on/off button with her "remote." We knew we couldn't play with that stick because it belonged next to her bed.

She was a devout Catholic. She had her Saints that she liked to pray to. We felt bad when, not once but twice, my sister Ericka accidentally broke her most precious Saint. My oldest cousin was frantically trying to glue it back together before she got back. We knew she was extremely upset when she saw what we had done but she didn't yell or scream or do any of those things. We didn't dare look at her in the eyes.

This past August I was in Yuma visiting and we were able to see her. She asked when I was going to be leaving and I told her the day. The day came when I was loading my children in the van getting ready to leave when the phone rang. It was her and she was calling to wish me a safe trip. She said to me, "Te quiero, mi amor." ("I love you, my love.")

Nana, I love you, too.

(The picture is Brandon with my Nana, taken in December 1997.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boys!

It was Blake's birthday on January 29. (Yes, I'm behind) Jacob's birthday was March 24 and I haven't posted about that either. Brandon's birthday is coming up on April 17 followed by Joshua's on the 28. I figured I can't blog about Brandon turning 12 this year if I don't first blog about Blake turning 10. So here is a recap of my boys....Blake Kimball Hull is the smartest 10 year old I know. Really. He got 100% on both the math and science portions of his standardized test last year. He asks me questions about things and I have to go Google the answer. He also is a very hard worker.
He also inherited some of his mother's athletic abilities. Poor guy. Some physical things don't come very easily to him but he has the determination to practice until he gets better at them. Take baseball. He decided he wanted to play baseball. During tryouts during his first year he didn't even know where to go when they asked him to go play Shortstop. They said, "Between 2nd and 3rd." He went somewhere else. Then they said, "Between the two cones." Then they just told him to start walking and to stop when they said to. He eventually made it to the Shortstop position. Needless to say his first year in baseball was played out in left field. (Nothing against left fielders...) But he decided last year that he wanted to pitch. So everyday after school he went outside to practice his pitching. He got better and better and last year was able to pitch a few games. This year he is one of his team's pitchers.
He also is really good at making and keeping goals. When he started Cub Scouts he decided that he would earn his Wolf badge before the next pack meeting. That gave us about 6 weeks. Guess what he did for six weeks straight? He earned his Wolf badge.

We are so glad he is in our family. Even though there are days when I wish there was a mute button on that boy our home would be too quiet without him. Blake, you are an amazing boy. We love you!!
Blake and Jacob

Jacob Taylor Hull is the sweetest 6 year old boy. He is our third child and Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed when he sent him to us.

I was seriously doubting my abilities of my being a mother when I became pregnant with Jacob. It was a difficult time for me. Then two things happened that changed everything. We moved to Yucaipa and Jacob was born. After being in our English ward for almost 1 year our family was called to serve in a Spanish Branch. Dan was called to be a counselor so that meant that I would have the children by myself. I also played the piano during Sacrament Meeting. Jacob sat in his car seat the entire time. When he outgrew his car seat he would actually sit next to me on the bench while I played. He sat!!! I had never had a child who would sit during anything. If I needed to got to the dentist he would actually stand in the corner and wait for me until I was done!!!!! I didn't even have to bribe him!!! I had never before experienced anything like this. He was a great infant and toddler.
Now 6 years later, he is still a sweet boy but definitely has his mother's stubbornness. He has to think an idea was his if there is any chance of him doing it. If I ask him to make his bed he will dance around the issue. If he says, "I know something...I will make my bed in the morning" he will get up extra early and make his bed...with a smile. He loves to give us hugs and kisses and I'm so thankful he is in our family. We love you, Jacob!!