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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sledding and Christmas

Perhaps this is looking like a trend, but Heather has written our detailed post and I am following up with some media and not much to say. That works for me :)

As Heather mentioned, I decided to make the plunge and get a Mac laptop to put it through the test to see if I can really do better with my photos and video as so many claim. So far it is a great laptop, but I have met with several frustrations trying to get done what I normally to on a PC in less time. I expected that to some degree, so I am being patient, but I have run into a couple of snags that there is not a direct fix for at the moment. The video from our digital video camera (Sony HDR-SR7) is not compatible with Quicktime. Sparing you the in-depth details, Mac's don't natively deal with the video/audio format it produces, and the third party drivers that made it work previously were "broken" by the latest operating system update, which of course this new laptop has installed. Hopefully that is something rectified soon and I will be happy.

Anyway, because of that the video took a bit longer to get edited this week as I was fiddling with different software options for much too long, only to find it didn't work. Ah well. I did run the files through a batch conversion, then do the edits on the Mac just so I knew I could do it. Wow, that ended up being very long for avoiding the details. Anyway, on to some media.

Christmas Morning

I'm not sure if this will interest most of you, but I thought I would share some of the video from Christmas morning. The kids got lots of loot and were oh so happy. Spoiled I tell ya.


The new sled had to get tested of course. This new spot we found was a bit light on snow, but the hills were great. There were even hills small enough for Robyn to go on her own.

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you all had a great Christmas. We're still in the recovery stages at our house. Allison came down with a cold late Christmas night. Robyn kicked her out of their room because of Allison's coughing - "be quiet Allison, get out, go away"
etc - she can be quite rude at times but she says it in such a cute tiny voice its hard not to laugh inside. So Jeremy and I played tag at church so he could attend meetings and I attend Sunday school. Robyn thought it was pretty neat to be the only kid at church with us. So they are taking it easy, lying around a lot and living in general sloth.

Last Sunday the kids decorated their gingerbread house. We gave us several years ago trying to do it ourselves and just buy a kit. The kids just want to put the candy on anyway - of course all Robyn wanted to do was eat the candy. She has been caught raiding the finished house many times. Spencer spent the entire day preparing a family home evening lesson for us on the importance of having Family home evening. It was a little painful to sit still for a 40 min lesson but he did it straight from the manual complete with all the props.

Monday we had a moment of panic as we realized Allison really did assume that Santa was bringing her an easy bake for Christmas. Said its the only thing she asked Santa for. I had friends clue me in that she had already told all her friends it was coming. Luckily Jeremy was able to find one at Walmart on the way home from work. Lauri came over for the night and we ate nachos, gave everyone big bubble baths and read the Christmas story in the scriptures. We watched Shrek the Halls and laughed the whole time. There was a great line in it "Christmas isn't Christmas till somebody is crying". I was so grateful this year that no one was sick or hurt this year but there was some sadness. Lauri's cat for around 17 years died. She was very heartbroken about it. The worst part is that it crawled away to die and we haven't been able to find it yet.

The kids were very anxious to get to bed but we took a long way to take Lauri home and checked out people's Christmas lights. Robyn kept yelling out "pretty lights". Because of all the excitement the kids slept in till 8 the next morning. What a great Christmas present! They all loved their presents. Jeremy had been thinking about getting a mac laptop to do all his photo/video work on. Donny heard about it and offered to pay for half of it for him as he was excited to have him covert over. By luck the laptop arrived Christmas Eve so we made Jeremy wait until Christmas Day to start playing around with it. He has been engrossed ever since.

Spencer got a book called the Dangerous Book for Boys. He has been busy all day today in between coughs, learning all the new tricks and games it talks about. We got a wii for our family for Christmas and we have all been having fun playing it especially Spencer. Spencer has been doing better as he starts switching over to zyprexa. The biggest worry is that he would start eating tons but his appetite has actually gone down. He hardly ever minds me looking at him right now. We saw the doctor on Friday and will keep switching him over slowly to the new medication. He still struggles at times but is holding it together most of the time now. He will have to do time outs occasionally to calm down but after a few minutes he is good. The initial moment that he goes into the bathroom is a problem though. He likes to bang or kick at the wall as he goes in. This week he managed to make a hole in the sheet rock. We're working to stop that behavior but in the meantime are thinking of putting up some beadboard or something so the wall won't be so easy to dent and hurt.

I spent the week in general sloth reading my new books the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. It is a girl teenage fantasy and I don't know why I find them so compelling but I do. I have been reading all day and late into the night and finished the third book last night.

We went sledding Thursday on a nearby hill. Robyn was hesitant the first time down but after that was saying "wee, more, go go" over and over. Allison and Spencer took turns taking her down and loved every minute of it. Taylor stayed with Meredith while we went and enjoyed a walk in the snow and a hot bath and cuddle time. He was not too happy to see us come back!

Friday night we had a bunch of families over for treats and visiting. There are a bunch of us who have been friends for 6-8 years and we always have a great time together. The kids all played the wii while adults sat and ate and talked. We stayed up really late and between the party and cold our kids slept till almost noon on Saturday. It felt very strange to have our house so quiet all morning. Jeremy and I took turns going to the gym and just played with Robyn and Taylor. I need to get kids back into the school time schedule soon before I get too used to this lazy living. I had planned to get some projects done, like hanging up our cupboards but nothing happened this week. Maybe now that my books are done...

Hope you enjoy your New Year's and this holiday season. Love Heather

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sharing Some Media

Heather is writing the regular family update as normal, but she has been bugging reminding me that I needed to get some of the recent photos and video I have taken shared on the site. I tend to not be the best about getting my shots online, so it is good to have some reminding :)

These are in no particular order or grouping, just here for your viewing pleasure.

Spencer having some fun on the quad in the snow:

Crystal's Breakout

This video was taken the night before Crystal died. I had no idea that it would be her last (sniff). She was a restless, wandering soul that just wanted to be out of that cage. Apparently jumping off a cliff (the counter) at a good 30x her height was worth the escape.

Allison's Dance Recital

It's always a lot of fun to see the kids perform their much practiced talents. I have to remind myself how much these things mean to them and put on your best smile and shower them with compliments.

The best part after this event was watching when my mom gave Allison a rose and hug. Allison was beaming, and so was my mom.

Robyn Dancing & Allison Singing

Morning in the room of a couple of girls is generally a lot like you would expect. Ragged hair, dress ups started early, and girly music. Allison loves her little CD player, which means of course Robyn does too. You can't just dance to music though; you must get dressed up too with whatever is available.

Robyn's Favorite Song

There is no doubt that Robyn's favorite song is still the Pink Dinosaur, a.k.a. "Dino." Spencer found this song online it seems like a year ago and Robyn loves to have it played every day.

Family Ice Skating

Earlier this month we went with Jason & Kelly and my mom to the Peaks ice skating rink for some winter activity fun. Don't watch the video to see my mom doing twirls out on the ice; she had her fun watching the little girls from the safety of balcony when they tired out. Needless to say, none of us are Olympic bound, but all had a good time.

Dear Family,

This week has been a week of cookies. It seems like every night we heard a knock on our door and a plate of goodies was dropped off. Kids were excited every night to see who was there and what they brought with them! Then Friday the kids helped me make a bunch of sugar cookies for our cookie exchange party. They turned out really good so here is the recipe:

Cream 1 1/2 c butter, 1
1/2 c sugar. Add in 1 c sour cream, 3 eggs at room temp, and 3 tsp vanilla. Mix well. Add 1 1/2 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 6 c flour. Roll out on floured surface, cut in shapes and bake at 350 degees for 8-10 min. Cool and frost with cheese frosting (1 box cream cheese, 1/2 bag powdered sugar, 1 stick butter, 2 tsp vanilla and milk to desired consistency). We then sprinkled crushed peppermint stick on top. There is a candy outlet by us that sells crushed candy canes in a shaker box.

The cookie party was a lot of fun. It was only for girls so the Mom's sat and visited for 2 hours while the girls had lots of fun being unsupervised in the kitchen with a bunch of cookies to frost. Didn't bother to clean too much before hand as I knew we would be cleaning a lot after - and we did but it was worth it. Robyn was the youngest there and all the big girls got a kick out of watching her eat a whole bowl of frosting and then dump a thing of sprinkles on her plate and eat that too.

To make up for so much girly stuff, Jeremy and Spencer went to watch the BYU bowl game in a movie theater. Spencer had spent the morning sleeping but was very excited to go to the game with his Dad. Halfway through the game though he started spiking a fever and getting chills and aches. Didn't want to leave though until he knew BYU won so they stuck it out. He fell asleep on the ride home and slept until after 10 today. Fever is gone and he seems to be feeling better.

Had a bunch of doctor visits this we
ek - some times they just come all grouped together. Lauri had 2 appointments this week. Our kids are getting well trained at the idea of staying in the car for an hour or two with their coloring, treats or sometimes a movie on the DVD player. I had to go back into the dentist. My root canal hasn't been finished yet (they are doing it in January) but it got reinfected and spread to my jaw bone. So I am on penicillin now and the pain is mostly gone thankfully. I am hoping I can make it till after Christmas to get it finished and the crown put on. Being on call for a root canal means having to find a babysitter at the last moment for 3 hours. Not something I want to attempt during the holidays.

Taylor went up to SLC and got his new wheelchair this week. It is very different from his old one but seems much more comfortable as he isn't so squished. It can still fit in the back of our van without breaking it down, which is a big plus. The frame is camouflage which I hear really hides the stains well and it looks cool. It is a manual chair instead of a tilt chair and has sm
aller back wheels on it so it isn't so tippy.

Spencer went up to see Dr Connolly on Friday. We all agreed that parnoias are the biggest problem for Spencer and that most of the anger problems stem from then - being angry is a better feeling than being scared. Since he reacted so badly to depakote we are being very hesitant on other drugs. So we are going to try zyprexxa and gradually taper down the seraquil and replace it with the syprexxa which is a similar drug to see if it works better on him. The biggest concern with zyprexxa is the weight gain but although he was ravenous on lithium, since he has been off of it his appetite is almost below normal so hopefully it won't be a big issue for him. We were going to start zyprexxa yesterday but since he was sick we are holding off a day to make sure we don't miss any reactions to the new drug. He is starting on a miniscule dose.

Kids had a bunch of parties this week at school. Spencer went caroling with his cub scouts. He had his piano group class this week at school. It was funny to hear him talking to our neighbor's son on the way home from class about how he likes piano, that its pretty awesome but that it can cut into your play time. He didn't know I was listening of course or he would never have adm
itted it.

Allison and Robyn are just loving the season. They are either playing together or Robyn is hitting Allison while Allison tries to play by herself. Such is the lot of sisters. Hope that all of you enjoy your Christmas this week! I taught in church today and all we did for the lesson was share our favorite scripture from the New Testament. Brought back memories as mine is from when Daniel back from his mission asked me what my favorite miracle was and his became mine - probably because I could relate so well. Its the story of the man bringing his boy with seizures to be healed and saying "Lord, heal thou my unbelief". I am sure we will be posting a lot of pictures this week after Christmas. Love to you all, Heather

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A busy week

Dear Family and Friends,

This week turned out a little differently than we had originally planned on. Usually I jump around a little telling what our family has been up to but for this week I think I need to take it day by day. This was the week of parties as there seemed to be some activity every night.

Monday Spencer threw up at school so he came home for the day. He was bouncing around the rest of the day so I didn't think too much of it. We spent the afternoon making a bunch of gingerbread boys - made our house smell great. That night Jeremy and I went to a production of Forgotten Carols with Michael McLean. They had a tenor in the play that was amazing! We were even able to go out to dinner first so it was a great evening. Because Jeremy had a project due in order for him to come, he had to work late into the night when we got home and get up early in the morning when we got back. What a great guy. He is trying to get out of all these extra projects so he has more free time.

Tuesday I went into Allison's class for an hour to help them make gingerbread boy ornaments. Allison had helped me pick out candy to decorate with. She wanted them to look exactly like the gingerbread boy in Shrek. Spent the afternoon making chex mix for Spencer to take to cub scouts as he was on treats. Spencer came home from school, laid in front of the fire and was asleep by 5. He even slept through Robyn and Allison dancing around him. So he missed scouts. Woke up to cry a bunch over taking his pills and then an hour later was back in bed.

Tuesday a lady posted on Craig's list that she had a bunch of baby dwarf hamsters that she was giving away and that were ready to leave their mom. So we drove down to Orem for Allison to pick out 2 hamsters (Jeremy thought that 2 would keep each other company, and the lady who raised hamsters agreed) She named them Snowflake and Shadow (originally cloud but after a day changed her name. They are both girls and we are crossing their fingers that they are too young to be pregnant.

Tuesday night Jeremy went on a photo walk up at Temple Square with a photography club. He had a great time although he froze his fingers. I was happy at home with a new library book and a big piece of Carniegie Deli Cheesecake that Jeremy had brought home from work. A client had shipped them one from New York for Christmas.

Wednesday morning Spencer's teacher called to say Spencer fell asleep in class and had been looking pale all week. So we decreased his seroquil to see if that would help. Allison helped me make all our shopping trips for groceries and to buy things needed for the ward's giving tree. Wednesday night Jeremy went to film a concert a Allison's school for the school video we are working on. Spencer went to bed a little early but besides that was bouncing around.

Thursday morning is our early day as Spencer has piano at 7:30. He came home for breakfast and fell asleep on the couch after a bite or two. When he woke up at 9, I took him to school as he seemed fine. We went and picked up Allison's friend to play for the morning and mailed off our last Christmas present. Got home and Allison started freaking out because it hurt to pee. So she peed all over the bathroom floor - which she never does. So I was thinking she must have another UTI. Just at that point Spencer's school called to say that he was throwing up again and looked really sick. Shoved all the girls in the van with cheese sticks and crackers for lunch. By the time I got there Spencer was passed out on the hallway floor. Everytime he came to he threw up. They helped me get him out to the car in a wheelchair. Dropped Allison and her friend off of school and went to our doctor's to see which hospital I should take Spencer too. I was worried about pancreatitis which is a risk with depakote that Spencer had started the previous Saturday. He said he was stable enough for me to take him up to Primary's. Dropped Robyn with a neighbor and Jeremy came home early for kids.

I took Spencer up to Primary Children's ER. They came and helped me wheel him in. Because he was in shock by then - low body temp, high heart rate, disoriented or passed out - they took us straight back to the trauma room. It was a bad hour or two as Spencer was either non-responsive, yelling and screaming nonsense and having to be held down, or disoriented and crying because everyone was torturing him, saying "please, stop, please let me go" (that was the hardest to watch). All the tests came back showing that his systems were all working except for having a really high lactic acid level and a beyond acceptable depakote level (even though he was on a really low dose). So it was a bad 24 hours and then he was almost normal. He was able to come home Friday afternoon although he was very shaky (literally he had problems with any fine motor function) and would keep falling asleep. They decided that Spencer should never take depakote again as his body could not metabolize it - always a risk with any med, just unexpected. They let him pull out his own IV which he thought was cool.

Thursday night was Jeremy's big work party that everyone had been planning for the past month. Jeremy wasn't in the mood to do the big shopping hunt that they do but since we already had a babysitter I convinced him to go for the dinner. I was staying up in SLC and the roads were too bad and Spencer was too incoherent for him to try to come up to visit.

Friday night Jeremy and I were supposed to go to a couples Christmas party with some friends. Since I was having a hard time staying awake and desperately needed a long shower and bed and Spencer could not be left, Allison was Jeremy's date for the evening. She thought it was great to be at an adult party and had a great time. In the white elephant exchange she gave up her coldstone gift certificate for a container of potty putty. She was very excited about it.

Saturday was Allison's dance recital. The girls and I went to a local beauty college and Allison had her hair made cute and curly and had her nails painted. She was in heaven. Then we went to Kneaders to get a cheesecake for Jeremy's birthday and to clean the office. Robyn has decided to start throwing tantrums lately and it isn't pretty. She yells, hits people, throws things etc. At least they are short lived most of the time. The baker was laughing at her trying to be mean to people. By the end she is waving good-bye and smiling at everyone.

Allison did great at her dance recital and looked very cute. Lauri came and they had stopped on their way to get Allison a flower which she loved. Spencer by Saturday afternoon could physically not sit still. At least we could keep our humor about it as he was constantly moving, twitching, jumping up and down - looked like a junkie in need of a fix.

After the recital we took Lauri home, left Robyn and Taylor with a sitter and went up to SLC to take Jeremy out for his birthday dinner. We went to the Mayan which was a very gracious choice on Jeremy's part as it was totally for the kids. You have to wait a long time to get in as they don't do reservations so Allison played checkers with us. You eat in these tree houses and watch divers do this show. It was a fun evening. Spencer still could not even eat although by then he could put a fry into his mouth with only minor shaking.

Boy as I write it all out, I realize how busy this week truly has been. We have abused our friends a lot this week with babysitting favors. We meet with the psychiatrist on Friday to discuss what to do with medications now. Spencer will continue on the seroquil but needs to let his body chemistry settle down for a while.

Love to you all and hope the Skeehan clan has a great reunion this week - take lots of pictures to post. Love, Heather

Dear Family and Friends,

Our non-stop sleet and drizzle turned to a really good snowstorm yesterday. Around 6 inc
hes has stuck to the ground but we have shoveled a lot more than that. The temperatures rose enough to melt the streets and any shoveled driveways today. Our kids are ecstatic to see all the white stuff.

y the girls and I took Lauri to get her daffo for her foot. She is still working up to wearing it all the time but it helps her foot not drag so badly. Afterwards Robyn helped me clean her kitchen for a while. It didn't really click with me till last week that if Lauri can't walk very well than sweeping, mopping, picking up stuff off the floor is almost impossible for her to do. Probably a little dangerous for Robyn to be exploring while I clean but she found lots of candy stashes for me!

Tuesday night was our ward adult Christmas dinner. Our kids thought it was great to stay up and watch a movie with a sitter till we got back. It was a party week as Saturday morning we had our ward Christmas breakfast. Kids chowed down on eggs and pancakes and then made an ornament and visited with Santa. Spencer asked for a wii, and Allison for an easy bake. Robyn was just screaming while standing in line because she saw the candy canes and didn't understand why she would need to wait. Robyn was a sticky mess by the end of the morning!

Jason and
Kelly's family are going out to CA this year for Christmas so we had a Hall Christmas get together Saturday afternoon/evening. We met down at 7 peaks in Provo to go ice skating. It was one of those events that reminds you of the sudden ups and downs of parenting. Loading 6 people, a stroller and 2 wheelchairs into the car, driving through slush and then unloading in a heavy snow storm was a down. Watching kids jump up and down excited to go on the ice was an up. Having kids complaining that shoes didn't fit right, laces were too long etc was a down. Going out with Robyn in mini-ice skates between my legs was a big up as she just kept saying wee! Having Spencer 1 minutes after getting on the ice, being cut off, spinning around and landing teeth first was a big down. (Bloody nose, skinned off lower lip and a fat lip and big blood blister on the inside of his mouth). Having Allison yanking on Jeremy's arm and worrying about falling was a down but then her deciding it didn't hurt to fall and she could skate without taking out her partner was an up. You get the idea. It was fun and really tired kids out. Getting home through the bad roads we then spent the evening making nachos, eating fudge and watching movies. (I have a new recipe for fudge that is really good - from the test kitchen cookbook)

Thursday my friend
s Kate and Allison came over with their kids and we worked on making those glass plates I had mentioned earlier. It was a sad morning for Allison as Crystal sneaked out the door and must have broken her neck. I saw her in the morning and then when we checked an hour later we noticed she was gone. Allison found her behind the door, still warm and was very distressed. She and her friends buried her by a rose bush. (That afternoon she would be dug up one more time as Allison wanted to hold her again) Many tears. Then they all came inside to eat suckers and have hot chocolate.

The plates took most of the day to make. We made a big glass jar that said Mrs Muir's Munchies on it and drew clip art pictures of every kid in Allison's class. We're going to fill it full of suckers and give it to Allison's teacher.

On Friday Spencer saw the psychiatrist again. He recommended Spencer go back into the hospital or at least the day program but understood why we didn't want to. They can change medication more aggressively if they do it inpatient. So Spencer is off of Lithium and started on Depakote and then brought the Seroquel up to the max. We all hope it helps. He has to get his blood drawn in a week and then will see the doctor in two to see how he is doing. This weekend has been a little rough as he iss off of the lithium and we wait for the depakote to have any effect. This last week though Spencer has really had a hard time with life, around as bad as he was two months ago. So it was definitely time for a change.

Jeremy finished up the football videos this week and has been glad to cross that off of his to do list. He made these really nice cases for him and put in a lot of time on it.

Friday afternoon I helped Spencer's class make gingerbread houses. Lots of frosting, we were all covered. My frosting was too thin and my groups houses kept falling apart. Nothing that lots of candy couldn't fix. This week I go in to help Allison's class make gingerbread ornaments so I should be a pro by then.

Jeremy's best friend from high school now lives in Utah so he is coming over for dinner tonight. He hasn't seen him for a while so it should be fun.

Robyn is busy caring for her babies and loves to take them for walks. She loves the CD Peter and Kathrine made (thank-you). I want a hippopotamous for Christmas is Allison's favorite song and we didn't have it. So almost every night finds girls dancing in the family room.

We are enjoying the holiday season and trying to remember to leave time to just be. It amazes me how many neat things are out there to do so I am trying to be better at not trying to to everything. Love to you all, Heather

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Dear Family and friends,

Winter finally arrived yesterday with a ton of snow. Allison is outside right now making snow angels and working on a snow man. We had rain all day Friday and then non-stop snow most of the day Saturday. Today the sun is out so all the roads and sidewalks are clearing up but there is still a good 6 inches staying on the grass. Just the way I like it. I haven't taken Robyn out in the snow yet, so I will have to bundle her up later and let her experience it. She keeps pointing out the window at the snow, saying "pretty". She is saying "pretty" a lot lately - for every tree or christmas light display - she is enjoying the season.

The reason Robyn hasn't been outside yet in the snow is that this weekend didn't go quite as planned. Saturday the girls and I and Lauri along with Kelly and her girls were going to spend the day up at the Festival of Trees in SLC. We were all looking forward to it. Friday night my back lower tooth started twinging and by midnight was horrible. I was over dosing on tylenol, pacing around and holding hot pads to my cheek. So I spent Saturday morning having an emergency root canal done and gratefully going to bed high on antibitoics and painkillers as soon as I could Saturday night. One of the nerves had gotten inflamed so they kept shooting Novocaine directly into the nerve as they drilled. Not a pleasant experience but the pain is manageable now and should keep getting better. I go back in the first of January to finish up the root canal and get the crown on. They said one of my old fillings had cracked. This is the second time this has happened to me and makes me worry how many root canals I will end up having!

Yesterday with the snow the kids were happy to stay home. Spencer and Jeremy took the quads out which they love doing. Allison ran around with her friends and drank hot chocolate. They all got their chocolate advent calendars out for the first of December - they have to be hidden during the day, now that Robyn knows what they are.

We had been planning a dinner and temple date last night so Meredith was scheduled to come over. I am so grateful for her. She came and took over while I went to bed and Jeremy went to work on the football dvd. She fed and bathed the kids and I snored away. Not quite the romantic date we had planned.

Monday we had our lighting parade. It was a lot warmer this year - 30 degrees I think so it just felt christmasy and pleasant outside instead of an endurance test to walk down the street. Kids ran around with each other and ate tons of cookies afterwards. Its a good motivation to get your lights up early before the snow each year - its also a bit of pressure! - but our street looks all lit up now at night.

Tuesday we had pack meeting. Spencer got his first bead in his progress towards wolf. His paranoias are pretty high but most people never seem to notice. He begged me to please not be in the room watching him while he got his bead so I was in the hallway with Robyn. For some reason me watching him is his biggest fear. Jeremy taped him and we watched it later - seeing his face makes me realize how scared he is during times like that and how he really has to muster up the courage to do things like that. We talk to the psychiatrist this coming Friday about changing around his meds. (Mom, Spencer appreciated your letter as he has been carrying it around with him)

It seems like Spencer had so much homework this week but that is because he saved 2 big month long projects for the last week. When at 5:30 he tells me that he needs a shoe box and some modeling clay for his project that is due tomorrow and I call Jeremy to ask him to stop at the store on the way home - I had a flashback to the many times my Dad did that for us. His homework may not be great, but he is taking the responsibility to do it and turn it in on time so I need to stop complaining. His teacher will never wonder if his parents are doing the work for him!

I had my eyes checked this week. I don't have to go back now for 6 months. One of my eyes is at 20/20 and the other is at 20/15. I really shouldn't change anymore as all the swelling is gone. I am excited that everything has healed up so well and with PRK there are no worries of the flap unattatching or anything.

We took Lauri out one morning this week to run some errands. I was blessed for taking her as we found some garland that I had been looking for. The girls helped me tie it on the banister and then we tied red globe ornaments dangling from the railings. It looks really pretty. Jeremy liked it until he tried walking down the stairs early in the morning on the way to they gym - he can't use the railings to help him walk down in the dark. Lauri and us stopped at Taco bell to get lunch on the way to take Allison to school. I learned that Robyn should never eat mexican food in the car!

I went in to Allison's class this week to help them make strawberry jam. It was sticky and messy and very sugary but the kids loved it. I just kept looking at their white shirts and their pieces of bread dripping with their newly made jam. They must be all well trained as none of it got on their clothes.

Allison has been crying a lot when arguments are not going her way or acting like she has gotten hurt. Robyn has picked up on it as she says "owie" whenever she needs help. Hopefully that stage will pass. She is still my helper for everything. We went grocery shopping and when we got to the car I turned around and there she was putting all the groceries away in the trunk for me. It was great.

This week I have been gradually cleaning off our walls and floor boards. On Monday the sun came in just right to show all the dirt and stains that have accumulated. It was a great motivator and I was pretty grossed out when I would empty each bucket of cleaner. Made our house look a lot cleaner - at least to me. This week I am hoping to patch and paint all the holes. Does anyone know how to fix impressions in walls - not straight holes but where there has been an elbow or other object hitting the wall and leaving impressions?

Jeremy's family is coming over for dinner tonight. Our kids just assume now on fast sunday that they will be here, which I think is neat.

Love to you all, and hope you're enjoying the season. Heather