Tuesday, December 30, 2008


If you live in New Hampshire you'll find us on the front page of the UNION LEADER today. The paper did a story about our family receiving the handicap van this month. We are honored! If you don't live in NH, you can find the article (minus a few pictures) here:

Here are some reader comments from the union leader website:

Its nice to see the UL print stories of interest about NH citizens. Sometimes we get some much news that would otherwise be found on the web, that I don't always look at the paper. However, stories like this keep me coming back to the local news source! Congratulations to Good News Garage for making a significant different to a family that will benefit greatly. In turn, I'm sure they will give back to the community as well!- Tom, Bedford

Thank you UL for printing such a lovely story. And for putting it on the front page! I was glad to see this story on the front page after so many front pages of Addison. Glad that is over!- Wendy T.R., Manchester

The Good News Garage is one of the best non-profit "social service agencies" in the area. They were the first place I thought of to donate my car when I bought a new car in June. They sold what I donated at auction to raise funds for their programs. They are ALWAYS in need of good quality, newer used cars to fix up and give or sell to those needing transportation and, the beautiful thing is, they serve everywhere not just in the Southern part of New Hampshire. So think of The Good News Garage first. You'll be helping deserving families like the Ortons or a single parent working their darndest to stay employed and build a life. And, no, I don't work for the Good News Garage. I just strongly support what they do. They're awesome people.Peace- Joel, Nashua

Very heart warming. It is nice to see that people who really need the help actually get it. I am proud to live in New Hampshire. I hope tha family enjoys this van and has it for many happy years!! Congratulations!!- Jen, Manchester

It has been a long time since I have seen a happy story or one to showing "NH Finest" going to jail. Makes you proud to be a human. Hope you like your new wheels Ben. Great to see parents like Bens staying and taking care of their own not playing the pity card. A perfect gift for the perfect family.- Jason, Windham

He's a beautiful little boy. I wish you nothing but the best for your family.- Michelle, Manchester

It's nice to know there are still good people out there! What a great story, and it is very apparent that Ben is dearly loved. What a wonderful story!- Lauren, Manchester, NH

Could not have been given to a finer family. The Ortons are wonderful people and Becky has the heart and patience of a saint. Amazing story, thank you UL for printing this- Laura Purslow, Portsmouth

Beautiful story.- Jeff, Manchester, NH

Monday, December 29, 2008


I LOVE watching my children run and play...
A little football in the park before a picture session.
(thanks EP)
The girls head for a "hail mary"...
And she's down...(Stevie collided with Kaleb)

The day wouldn't be complete without an injury.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Only one verse of scripture in the entire King James Version of the New Testament suggests what the Savior did to develop himself from age twelve until he began his formal ministry at age thirty:
“Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man”
(Luke 2:52; see JST, Matt. 3:24–26).
the Savior developed: intellectually (in wisdom and knowledge), physically (in stature), socially (in favor with man), and spiritually (in favor with God).
I am convinced that if we make and keep resolutions in these four areas, we will have a happier and more successful new year this coming year and every year for the rest of our lives. Let’s consider the nature of such resolutions and the benefits that can be ours if our resolve to improve ourselves is firm.
Joe J. Christensen
(you can read more of his talk here)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Our Christmas Eve tradition every year is to deliver presents with the Police Department to needy families all over the city. Our family LOVES this tradition. This year we spent about 6 hours on the truck. Steve is always our driver. It's an adventure when he's behind the wheel. :)
This is Steve unloading one of the MANY boxes.
This is the big paddy wagon that we used.
You can see Santa in the front seat.
Stevie and Kayla stayed behind to wrap
last minute gifts.
I couldn't help sneaking a picture with Mr. Claus.
I also snuck in a few last minute requests. :)
Officer Orton and Santy in front of the truck.
One of the 180 houses that we delivered to...
Santa was a special visitor at each house.
Kaleb with some of our crew...
(both men are his Sensei's at karate)

Most of the Christmas Eve Crew...

It was a blast!!!

We can't wait to do it again next year.


"Our joy at this season is because the Savior Jesus Christ came into the world."
President Gordon B. Hinckley
May we remember the reason for this season.
Merry Christmas...
Love, The Orton Family

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Being humble...
We try to make sure our kids understand this concept.
Just the other day I was getting Stevie ready for her basketball game.
She needed help putting her hair into a ponytail.
After I was done she was looking through Kayla's hair accessories.
She had some of those athletic headbands
that keep the 'fly-a-ways' out of your face.
Stevie felt she needed to wear one.
There was a variety to choose from, all by "NIKE".
She asked me:
S - "Mom, do you think I should wear
the one that says UNSTOPPABLE or just NIKE?"
M - "I don't know, which one do YOU think you should wear?"
S - "I think I'll wear UNSTOPPABLE because mom,
I AM unstoppable."
(she was totally serious)
It doesn't help that she's the tallest girl on the team
and is the only one that can even reach the basket
never mind MAKE a basket.
But still...
A little chat was in order. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Every year our family has the privilege of being involved with the local Santa Fund. The Police Department (namely Sgt. Cavanaugh) sponsors around 180 needy families in the Laconia area that can't afford to give their children gifts on Christmas day. We (along with others) spend lots of hours shopping, wrapping, organizing and delivering. It's a great opportunity to give of ourselves, mostly our time and talents. I have to give a lot of credit to Steve and my three older children. They have been down to the local community center to wrap for countless hours. I haven't been able to go as much because of Benjamin. Today we spent 7 hours (after church) wrapping, wrapping and wrapping some more. We had a blast. Here are some pictures from today.
Here is the head elf...we like to call him "Jingles".
"Bubbles" was a wrapping machine.
Oh...did I mention that "Jingles" was also our toy tester? He especially liked turning tricks on these kid bikes.

Here is our sweet elf "Sugarplum".
She's sugar and spice and everything nice.
This is a glimpse of all the boxes full of gifts.
(this is not all...oh no, there are MORE)
They are labled and packaged and ready for delivery.
(which happens Christmas Eve)
Last but not least is "Snowflake"...this little elf probably outwrapped us all. She never even took a break to eat dinner, had me bring it to her instead. Eat and wrap, eat and wrap. It doesn't end here...we'll be delivering all of these gifts to the needy families on Christmas Eve. More pictures and details to come. Stay tuned! :)

Friday, December 19, 2008


My heart has been heavy.
Not my favorite kind of day.
One that I'll be glad to put behind me.
I was at my Thai Kickboxing class when the phone rang.
It was a teacher from Kaleb's school.
He was informing me that Kaleb was in a fight during recess.
A level 1 offense.
Let me back up a little to give you some background.
Kaleb struggles socially.
He always has.
As he gets older, he uses humor to win friendships.
Not all think he's funny.
Today he pushed someone's button.
This kid apparantely has a 'short fuse'.
(from what I was told)
He took Kaleb to the ground.
The teacher had to pull them apart.
Kaleb's not a physical child.
We have taught him better.
As a result...
Kaleb was emotionally truamatized,
while the other kid just walked away.
I picked him up early.
We spent some alone time together.
We talked...a LOT.
I helped him piece back together his broken little spirit.
It was a hard lesson learned.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Tonight was Gilford's "Holiday Concert"
It's a long night of singing and playing.
Lots of kids are involved.
I think Kaleb was nervous...
that I wouldn't find him.
He was wrong.
I had my handy, dandy camera
with major zoom power.
I'm 500 feet away.
I caught him chewing his nails.
(told you he was nervous)
Here's the full view of the 6th grade band.
Aren't they lovely?
You can't see Kaleb...
he's behind the conductor.
Remember how I told you
he was worried I wouldn't find him?
Well...no worries friends.
The conductor stepped to the side
and this is what I saw...

Yep, there he is. Totally see you Kaleb.


(his hat that is)

Um...a little distracting and just a tad embarrassing. I'm crediting THAT one to his dad.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Recently I posted on Benjamin's Blog about the new "Handicap" van we are getting this week. It has been a HUGE blessing for us. You can read more about it HERE. Out of all the kids, Stevie is probably the most excited because she LOVES to help come up with a new name for our cars. It's tradition. They must each have a name - significant to that vehicle. We've had SPOT, PEARL, JANE, SARAH and RUBY. (may they all rest in peace)As we were driving to church yesterday, we talked about how we will be driving down this week to pick up our new van and that we need a name for her. Stevie quickly piped up that the new name should be


I looked over at my husband and mouthed, "did she just say that?" I was shocked and totally confused. "Why would you choose THAT name?" I asked her. She confidently replied..."because it's a handicap van." She wasn't trying to be funny. She wasn't trying to be politically incorrect. She was just sharing her honest feelings. How do you say NO to that? We compromised and decided on DS.

Tomorrow, DS will join our cute little family.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Tonight was the annual
"Make A Wish"
Christmas Party
Ben was the "Guest of Honor"
This is what I spent half the night doing....
eating from the chocolate fountain
that was 5 pillars high! (mmmmm)
This is how I spent the other
half of the night,
kissing my cute boy's cheeks.
There were lots of toys and fun.
This is Ben's special star wand.
It sparkles in a really cool way.
We visited Santa's lap,
and told him how good we've all been.
We even got to visit Minnie and Mickey.
Kayla spent most of her time here.
She was in bead heaven.
Dad and his boys.

This is a video of Steve making a balloon candy cane. Balloon creations are his specialty.


Watch and see. Book him for your next party. Really...he's for hire. :)


Thank you Make A Wish for a most excellent time. We are so grateful for your generosity and always making my family feel so special. We are especially grateful for our wish granters Kim and Maureen. We love you both!!! Words cannot express how much you have touched our lives.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Pictures by Stevie
Trees in our yard...
Poor, weighted down trees...
Pretty though...
huh? Don't ask me, it's called BORDOM during an ice storm. :)
We like to call this...Ninja's saving the day...
Today NH was in a 'state of emergency'.
We had a major ice storm last night.
400,000 homes lost power.
Ours included.
This is the worst power outage in NH history.
(so I'm told)
We were prepared in every way but one.
He needs electricity.
No way around it.
We felt helpless.
Thank goodness for dear friends.
He's in a warm, safe home tonight.
Guess we'll be purchasing a generator,
and SOON.
It was hard to part with him
in time of emergency.
I'm like a mother hen.
I want all my chicks gathered 'round.
This was a good lesson learned.
We are lucky.
Tonight our power returned.
(prayers were answered)
We are defrosting as I type.
I am thankful for electricity.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This is after 6 hours of hard labor,
I'm not thrilled Steve was taking pictures.
This was a fun tag because it brought back a lot of good memories.
This is her newborn picture
One of my favorite pictures of Kayla
I loved her white hair and curly locks.
1. Were you married at the time? YES! :)
2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? We were thrilled. (we had lost the first pregnancy at 10 weeks so we were happy to be pregnant again)
3. How old were you? 21 yrs.
4. How did you find out you were pregnant? I went to a local clinic to take a test because all three home pregnancy tests came back negative. They confirmed that I was.
5. Who did you tell first? My husband and then probably my mom.
6. Did you want to find out the sex? no, we wanted to be surprised. We went in for an ultrasound at 7 months, we told the tech. please don't tell us the sex. But we wanted to watch the ultrasound and who knew that a girl would be SO obvious to our virgin ultrasound eyes. My husband yelled out..."there's no STEM on THAT apple!" I couldn't help but laugh, we were having a girl. (I could have sworn I was having a boy, so much for mother's instinct. :))
7. What was your due date? August 29th
8. Did you deliver early or late? I was 10 days early. It was a HUGE blessing too because my mom was out visiting for a brief time and wasn't able to stay till my due date. I prayed that I would have the baby while she was there. It all worked out perfectly because the day I finished my LAST final of the semester, my water broke like 2 hours later when I had arrived back at my apartment. Talk about timing. :)
9. Did you have morning sickness? YES! I was on home IV therapy for dehydration. Thankfully Steve worked nearby because I had to call him once or twice a night to come home and empty my vomit bowl, (now that's true love) because I was too sick to do it myself.
10. What did you crave? Watermelon. I seriously would eat a whole watermelon daily. LOVED them.
11. Who irritated you the most? I don't think I was irritated by anyone. I was away from all family, so it was mostly just Steve and I...and how could I be irritated at the man that emptied my throw-up bowl? :)
12. What was your first child's sex? GIRL
13. How many pounds did you gain throughout your pregnancy? You'd think that being sick for half the pregnancy I wouldn't have gained as much as I did but after I could finally eat I pigged out - on everything! I gained 45 lbs. It wasn't pretty.
14. Did you have any complications during your pregnancy? Just the severe hyper-emisis (morning sickness).
15. Where did you give birth? The local hospital in Rexburg, Idaho
16. How many hours were you in labor? 13 long, painful hours...
17. Who drove you to the hospital? I believe it was Steve.
18. Who was in the delivery room? Just Steve and my nurse along with the doctor
19. natural or c-section? Natural
20. Did you take medicine to ease the pain? No...but by the end I was wishing I had. It was long and painful. I pushed for over 3 hours.
21. How much did your child weigh? 8lbs. 5oz.
22. What did you name him/her? Kayla Grace Orton
23. How old is your first born today? 13 years old - can't believe it. ( I really have a teenager???)
(thanks Jess)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Ben and I had our Dartmourth date today.
While we were visiting doctors...
This cute little santa boy
helped me deliver these...
along with our Christmas cards.

Round two coming next week.
(lucky doctors) :)

Monday, December 8, 2008


This is how Stevie went to bed tonight.
Is this a clue that it's COLD outside?
My house can't keep up with the sub zero temperature!
I live in the North Pole people.
It's FRIGID up here.
I'm wondering if this is borderline abusive...
making my kids sleep in a 58 degree house.
Nah...didn't think so.
Okay, it's not really 58,
but it sure feels like it.
What happened to Global Warming?
NOT feeling it here.
Now I know why the birds fly south...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Are you wondering how you can make a difference this Christmas season? If so...you can donate to this wonderful cause. His name is Nicholas. He lived a very short 6 1/2 years. Cancer took him. He was my daughter's classmate and his mother is my good friend. She takes all the money donated and buys gifts for children with cancer. Then on Christmas day, she and her family delivers them to the cancer patients up at the hospital, in honor of Nick. Another great reminder to be thankful for what we have.

Remember the reason for the season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Yesterday was one of those days.
It started with some much needed scheduling.
We have lots of appointments coming up.
(to Dartmouth that is...)
And I'm a little behind in my calendering.
I wanted to get caught up.
So NOW...
I am finally getting to December.
(5 days late)
I ripped off November's sheet,
and threw it away.
When I returned,
this caught my eye...
This is Stevie's handwriting.
She was SO excited for this baby.
I didn't even know that she knew the due date.
It makes my heart hurt.
This month will be the hardest one.
It's a reminder of what's not to be.
We miss her....

Friday, December 5, 2008


We're friends, right?
We've been through a lot together.
So today, you won't mind if I grumble?
I have a love/hate relationship...
with my computer.
Most days I love it.
Some days I hate it.
Yesterday was a bad day.
My naiveté got the best of me.
I opened a virus.
My computer is fried.
The love is spreading.
People are texting, emailing and calling...
telling me I sent them a virus.
My apologies.
Really, I had no idea.
I've learned my lesson.
The hard way.
Just know this,
I DON'T want to see you naked,
I DON'T have any secret videos of you,
I DON'T have a crush on you,
(well maybe just a little) :)
And I DON'T use foul language.
If you get any emails or FB messages
containing these things...
DELETE them.
I AM thankful for smart
computer friends.
My computer is being worked on.
This will be it's 3rd resucitation.
(good grief)
Keep your fingers crossed
for quick healing.
Until then, I'm out of the blogging world.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


This picture makes me smile.
Last night I was helping Ben get ready for bed.
It was a busy time.
Others needed my help too.
Daddy was gone.
I would go back and forth
between Ben and my other children.
At one point when I was leaving his bedside,
he grabbed hold of my sweatshirt.
It made me smile.
It was as if he was saying,
Even though others were calling,
I stayed just a little bit longer.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Today is Ben's day for Physical Therapy.
He's tired.
Doesn't want to get up.
Can you blame him?
PT is hard work.
He refuses to open his eyes...
Okay, just for a minute.
This is what he looked like through his PT.
Don't you wish you could work and sleep
at the same time?
Yet he can manage to stick his tongue at me for making him get up.