Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

An easy, fun, yummy and fulfilling Thanksgiving day spent at the Sundwalls house with the Fosters, Texas Ginns and other friends. And of course my two turkeys!

Very blessed indeed!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Count Your Blessings

Since Monday's monster of news I've been in a bad funk. Like bad. I was so down and having such a hard time. I was thinking worse case scenario and had decided that I could no longer put a positive spin on things and couldn't carry the weight of everything anymore.

I was absolutely exhausted in every way, and rightfully so.

I spent yesterday in a bad place. Luckily the amazing Gama Linda took the girls to Coach's basketball game for the afternoon. And then the Ginns had a big cousin sleepover last night and even took my girls toilet papering for their first time!

All night last night I was thinking about how I was going to pull myself out of a place I didn't want to be. The answer came to me crystal clear while I was on my knees in prayer to my Heavenly Father...

Count your blessings!

Of course. That is exactly what has gotten me through so many other difficult times. It's just easy to forget.

The incredible President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said "Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious. We can be grateful!"

And this as well..."When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace."

I knew those words are true. I knew gratitude to my Heavenly Father for all my very many blessings would help me. And I knew exactly what I needed to do.

So today after the obligatory post sleepover meltdown nap, I decided to get myself out of this funk!

This afternoon the girls and I created "The Kikuchi Girl Thankful Tree." We roughly sketched a tree and then made the leaves by tracing and cutting out our hands. We filled the leaves with the 8 things we are most thankful for and glued them on the tree.

Riley's leaves are yellow and she is thankful for Mommy and Keagan, Nana, Gamas, cousins, food, her school, being safe, and Team Riley which is all her doctors, nurses, therapists, teachers and supporters.

Keagan's leaves are red and she is thankful for Jesus, mommy and Riley, cousins, Sa and Todd, her school, dad, her family and love. When I asked her for her first one she responded like I was ridiculous for even asking. "Jesus! I love Him. Duh!"

My leaves are obviously the big orange ones and I am thankful for Keagan and Riley, the gospel of Jesus Christ, my family and friends, prayer, the Holy Ghost, a home, time well spent with my two little girls and Team Riley.

The girls were so proud of our tree that they insisted we hang it from the mantle. I was beyond thrilled that my prayers had been answered! Counting my blessing had done exactly what I knew it would! So we knelt down together and offered our Heavenly Father a sincere prayer of thankfulness and listed all the things on our tree.

I am now completely out of the funk and feeling very grateful and very blessed! Now we are all three extremely ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow with grateful hearts feeling very blessed indeed!

Count your blessings!

"To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." - President Thomas S. Monson

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Monday, November 24, 2014


My thoughts are swirling around my head and it's hard to see the screen through my tears. But in true Emily fashion I have to get it out of my head and onto my blog. Believe it or not, it truly helps.

Riley had her Audiology appointment today. The results are that she has significant hearing loss. My spunky little girl did not cooperate for some of the tests needed and one test has to be done while she is sedated anyway. So we will be able to speak with the scheduler of that further testing next week. Once we complete those tests we will have specific numbers, types, clarification and a plan for moving forward.

At the very least she will need one or more hearing aides and to have testing done every three months. I'm hoping for hot pink hearing aides! It is also very possible that this confirms her neurologists hypothesis that she has CMV which means this could be progressive and she could fully lose all hearing.

That has hit me very hard.

I am much more upset then I probably should be about this. We have faced way scarier battles. But I just don't want my baby to be more trapped in her little body. She has conquered so many challenges with miracles and strength but I don't want her to have to do anymore.

And to be quite honest, I absolutely hate to admit it, but I'm a little tired of fighting next to her. Just tired and wishing some thing was easy. Anything. But I will NEVER give up! And I know neither will she, and neither will our Heavenly Father. That's all I'm holding onto at this point!

She is such a big and beautiful spirit trapped in such a broken body.

Oh my sweet girl!

Oh my heart!

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Sunday, November 23, 2014


My kids have got a style all their own!

Riley has really been in to wearing leotards lately. And she prefers them OVER a tShirt! But of course.

And it is so normal for them to be wearing ridiculous outfits at home that when I took this picture of Keagan earning her keep around here, I didn't even realize what she was wearing! Yes that would be an Elsa dress, a waitress outfit and head phones that don't work so they are just an accessory.

So basically if you are looking for a stylist, I may know a girl... or two.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Brill Movie Night

The Brill PTO hit it out of the park tonight with a very fun Movie Night! A whole lot of Broncos and their families showed up to lay out their blankets in the gym to watch "How to Train a Dragon 2" on a giant blow up screen while we had Chick Fil A, popcorn and cotton candy! Just as cute as can be.

The movie was a little too scary for Riley who sat in my lap and people watched. And Keagan was way more interested in running around and giving hugs to all her friends. Then they both got their faces painted to close out a fun night!

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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Greatest Sunday of the Year!

Today was my favorite Sunday of the whole year! It was the Primary Program! That means the children take over Sacrament meeting at church to sing and tell us all they have learned this year! It's seriously the best!

Keagan was a little nervous for her part but she did great! She said "Heavenly Father gave us agency. Which is the gift to choose for ourselves." And Riley waved and smiled as her teacher read her part "I can make good choices." Keags sang almost every word of "A Child's Prayer", "Families Can be Together Forever", "I Love to See the a Temple" and many more. Riley stood and smiled, waved at me and others who were waving back at her or sat on her teachers lap. The whole time I beamed at the combination of seeing my girls up there and feeling the sweet Spirit that those songs and the simple messages brought.

Keagan's drawing of a family was one of the programs!

The cutest little class!

They practiced yesterday and then got to have a little pizza party!

I am so thankful for Primary, the girl's leaders and teachers in it, and all that it is teaching my girls! It's a great village in the "it takes a village!" My only complaint is I wish the Primary Program was every Sunday!

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brutal vs Adorable

Last night Keags and Rys slept at Sa's house. We don't do sleepovers with friends, so cousin sleepovers are as good as it gets!

Addie really made it quite a fun night! She had come up with a long list of activities to do with the girls and her friend Kristin. They made bath bombs, did several crafts, chocolate bowls for ice cream, and more! And then this morning it was bright blue pancakes for breakfast! Just as cute as can be!

Meanwhile I was suffering through a brutal night at a sleep study. It was awful! I would have much rather had one of those chocolate bowls!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kinder Feast

What is more classic Kindergarten then dressing up like pilgrims and indians and having a good ole Thanksgiving feast?

All the kinder classes had prepared by making their own fun costumes, placemats and learning 5 seriously cute Thanksgiving songs to sing! Since Riley is the only kindergartener in her class, she hadn't prepared anything. I was worried but then the amazing Principal Hernandez came out with a vest just for Riley! Riley was thrilled and it really touched my heart!

Riley loved being with all the kids and chowing down on the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, peas and pumpkin pie. She almost ate it all! Miss Keagan did a great job singing and only ate the turkey. What a fun afternoon!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

For Reals!

For reals my life is so entertaining! Never a boring moment around here my friends.

Mind you it's not always, or often the make you laugh or even smile kind of entertaining. More often then not it's the oh my gosh stop whining before my head explodes or the wow I can't believe I just swept that much crap up in the kitchen kind of entertaining. Either way these were the entertaining highlights from the last couple of days...

Keagan, for reals asked the nurse at our doctors office if she drew on her eyebrows. I actually love that nurse, and yes she did.

Riley, for reals has been getting in trouble at school off and on for the last little while. She just doesn't want to sit down and do the whole little 30 minutes of her individual work. She will look her teacher right in the eyes and with a smile of course, swipe her work right off her desk onto the floor! She also refuses to sit in one spot during circle time. When the teacher and two aides aren't looking right at her she quickly scoots somewhere new.

Keagan, for reals cried today because she doesn't want to grow hair all over her body!

Riley, for reals is back to giggling in her sleep. Between that and the teeth grinding coming over the monitor, she is really contributing to my great nights of sleep!

Keagan, for reals played me big time on Monday by moaning and groaning about a tummy ache to stay home from school. I'm pretty sure it was all a plot to be able to eat Subway for lunch in her pajamas. At least she fairly patiently waited through my Relief Society Presidency meeting for over two hours before hand. In her pajamas.

I, for reals got a little girl in Keagan's class in big trouble yesterday because she was obsessed with all the millions of freckles on my arm! She refused to sit down and do her work that I was there to help them do, until she had counted them all! Meanwhile Keags and the rest of her class were making this darling Veterans Day project.

For reals, six year olds in scarfs is one of the cutest things I've ever seen. And yes 42 degrees is cold for Houston, TX today. And in case you were wondering, Riley was ecstatic to wear this coat and couldn't stop giggling! She loved it so much that when I tried to take it off of her to go into therapy she had quite the meltdown. Needless to say she wore this big coat for three hours of therapy and during dinner!

This, for reals was the most perfect little 30 minutes on a Sunday afternoon. Don't worry it ended with total catastrophe of the wagon running over Keagan's finger and scrapping the skin right off! For reals.

YouTube Video

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Woodlands Children's Festival!

We did another concert introduction today on behalf of Texas Children's Hospital. And it was seriously the best gig of the year because we ended up having an amazing day! The concert was Choo Choo Soul from the Disney Junior Channel, but it was just part of the Children's Festival that was amazing!

We got free tickets to the event and even got to go to the private meet and greet for Genevieve and DC from Choo Choo Soul! The stars were SO sweet with the girls who were totally star struck! Then we got to introduce them onstage after I briefly talked about TCH. It was so fun to say "did I just hear a choo choo train?" as the crowd screamed! Then we had a blast during the concert. I don't think Keagan stopped dancing for a single song! We all danced and sang along and really enjoyed the seriously perfect weather for some serious fun!

Afterwards there was so much to do! We ended up staying over five hours and still didn't do half the stuff! We made hats, rockets, and goo. We did a whole bunch of crafts and some science experiments. We went to the awesome petting zoo where we fed the goats, deer, donkey, pigs and kangaroo. And then we loved the instrument petting zoo too while we played the snare, cymbal, violin, trombone, trumpet and french horn! We chatted with Santa and were mesmerized by the Nutcracker and Sugar Plum Fairy. We went fishing for prizes, played some sports and rode the choo choo train. And then...we were exhausted!

Funniest thing happened too! When we were waiting in line for our lunch, a cute little girl recognized me. She said "hey you were on stage!" After talking to her for a minute she said "my grandma said you did a good job. And my grandpa said you were pretty but you really needed to lose weight!" Hahaha! That really made me laugh so hard so I had to include it.

Good times all around today! Now we are all going to sleep good!

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