Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving in Safford (aka THE Gila Valley)

 Thanksgiving 2012 is over....and will go down in the Hughes/Brown history books as pretty darn good.  We traveled to THE Gila Valley, to spend the day with Hughes' Parents, siblings, and Grandmother, the Lovely Evelyn Hughes. (I am SICK at the fact that I somehow neglected to capture a photograph of the Lovely Evelyn Hughes.  I will remedy this oversight as soon as possible.)


It was a good day.  A really, really, really good day.
Full of 70 degree weather, cousins, football, gun shooting,
croquet (??), talking, coloring, playing, family history learning,
and eating.  Lots of eating.

And now, in no particular order, my Thankfuls: 
 This boy.

And no, I did not authorize this shave-cut.  Hughes has been notified that if he ever does this again I will grow A's hair out and put it in a ponytail. 


Somehow, someway, this little baby boy made it to our family.
Things happened perfectly so that he ended up ours.
I know, with every beat of my heart, that Heavenly Father made this happen.
This boy is ours and has been since the beginning of the pre-existence.
This, I know. 
This, I am so very Thankful for. 
 My four little Brown girls.

Brown being their last name.
They have integrated into this new family (well, 5 years new now)
so seamlessly.  They are so excited to have all of these new cousins!
So excited to see them, so open to an instant counsinly relationship.
One of them said, upon leaving, "It just occurred to me that we are SEALED to these guys!"

Yes, little Brown girls, we are.

They are your eternal family. Yay for you!
And yay for me, for getting to be your Mother....all four of you.
You are the best daughters, you are.
And I love you all so much.
And I'm so Thankful for each one of you. 

 Baby B.
(With the same horrible shave-cut. Shame on you Daddy!)

We got Baby B when he was 6 weeks old, in the middle of the night on a weekend.
As soon as I got him home and clean and swaddled, I sat on the couch with him.
I looked at his perfect little mocha face and I felt a lightening bolt to my heart.
The kind of lightening bolt I have rarely felt before or after. 
I knew what this bolt meant, it was Heavenly Father telling me something.
And in this case, He was telling me..."This is your baby. I have sent him to you specifically for you to love and cherish and raise....don't let me down."

And no, I haven't gotten that feeling with all of the Fosters.
In fact, it has only happened this one time.

Well, imagine my surprise, when early Monday morning, CPS called and said that the police should not have removed Baby B from where he was.  It was all a misunderstanding, thank you for taking care of him this weekend and they came and collected him and took him back where he came from.

Surprised?  Shocked? Doubting?  Yes, Yes, and maybe a little, not gonna lie.

Well, imagine my surprise when CPS called back exactly 7 hours later and said that OOPSIE, the police were correct after all, he is not safe there, can we bring him back?  Please?
And of course I said yes and they did.  And that was my little dose of "Remember that Heavenly Father is in charge and not me" for the year.

So Baby B is here.  And our journey to adopting him has not been the gut-wrenching, nervous, edge of our seat, not knowing journey like A's was.  Nope, this journey was calm.  I knew Heavenly Father was in charge and Baby B had NO chance with any birth relatives.

So we calmly waited, and it happened, and now we are just waiting for an adoption date.

And I am SO Thankful for my Baby B.
He is our little serious calm in the storm at our house.
I love him so much. 

 Little Miss.
This little girl is truly the girl we never knew we wanted.
Hughes and I were determined to only adopt boys....but when we got the call for her two Christmases ago, and I couldn't say no to the tearful (actually crying) CPS worker who had already called FORTY TWO homes and everyone had said no.
I couldn't say no.
And thank goodness I didn't.
And her case is ongoing, but after 2 years it is looking better....complicated but better.

I am so Thankful to have her in our home.
She is smart, hilarious, and beautiful.
And she makes us all happy and I love her so much. 

 Good Choices.

This little Brown Girl has never let me down.
She has never let herself down.
Does she do stupid stuff?  Yep.
Like wrecking 2 cars in like 2 months.
Stuff like that....she's not perfect, after all.
But this girl has made all the right BIG choices.
And not just by accident.
She came from divorced parents, she was raised by a single mom for 5 years
who struggled hard, and then had to welcome a new step-dad and his family as a teenager.
She could have reacted differently.
But she didn't.  And she doesn't.
She makes deliberately thought-out good choices. 
 She has faith in her Heavenly Father's plan for her.
She has her eye on the prize.
She is a more than full-time student at ASU.
She works lots of hours.
And where is she today?  When she could be sleeping or shopping?
At the temple...doing baptisms.

I am SO, SOOOOO Thankful for her and for
her good choices.

And I know that all of my kids can make those good big decisions.
And I hope they do. 

He works hard.  He works until we have what we need.
He is kind to me.
He serves me.
He worthily holds the Priesthood and it has blessed us exponentially.
He has made our family eternal.
He was the missing piece.
He is an awesome step-dad and an awesome dad.
I am so Thankful that we listened to Heavenly Father when
he told us both, in no uncertain terms, that we were supposed to be together.
Even though it was WEIRD. 
Even though I was older than him and had four girls.
Even though he had never been married.
I am SO thankful that we listened.

And I am so Thankful for him. 


If your Great-Grandma doesn't have Arizona/Mexican ceramic decorations
in her yard, then you must be from somewhere else, because every
self-respecting Mormon pioneered Great-Grandma has at least something like this laying around.  Bet on it hombres. 

I am so Thankful for my home state of Arizona and
that I am back forever and get to live here.

Love the history, love the Mormon-ness, love the traditions. 

Especially same-aged cousins....they are the best!

A and Jerem had the time of their lives.
It's so fun that they are EXACTLY the same age.
And Baby B is only 10 months younger. 

I love it and I am Thankful for that. 

Dear Thanksgiving,

You just keep getting better and better.
There was one moment today,
when I was sitting out on the Lovely Evelyn Hughes' back porch, 
rocking my baby (7 month old Baby D, had him since birth, love him so much)
The breeze was blowing,
the kids were playing,
The Turkey smelled awesome.
Mt Graham was beautiful off in the distance.
And I was at peace with my life.
And it was spectacular.
So thank you Thanksgiving....
And until next year. 

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