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Sunday, January 27, 2013


This week my parents arrived for a visit.  The beginning of the week we moped around waiting for them to arrive.  Monday we spent with sick boys coughing up a lung and lying comatose on the couch enjoying their day off of school.  Taylor snapped back Tuesday and has been happy and healthy ever since.  Spencer dreading the thought of missing school and falling behind in homework, took himself and his loud cough to school with him all week.  Now he is pretty much back to normal besides the occasional 5 minute coughing fit.

Wednesday I picked up my parents at the airport and we have been enjoying visiting ever since.  Thursday we were excited to hear that my brother Daniel and his wife Mimi had their baby boy three weeks early and have been gazing at his little picture on our phones ever since.  Long distance family really stinks sometimes!

Thursday though was a tough day around here.  We had freezing rain.  That means with the inversion it rained above the inversion and turned to ice on the ground.  Kids fell several times getting out to carpool.  I took a step out with Taylor and his wheelchair to the bus guessing that I would do a zig zag path down the drive.  Nope, we slid the whole way down - sideways.  Fervant, instant prayers that we wouldn't fall or slam right into the bus on my part.  Luckily our driveway has a small lip that caught us at the bottom.  Taylor's driver was in tears as she said the driving has never been so bad.  Luckily the roads got salted, the ice melted a bit and life kept going.  Thursday while I was doing Taylor's school, my parents met my kids to eat lunch with them at their school.  The kids said that was the best part of their day.  Allison needed a little boost as she was supposed to go skiing that day with her class but it was cancelled as the roads were too bad.

My mom has been helping me brainstorm how to do curtains in my dining room.  Friday we went fabric shopping and a few other errands and then got to meet Jeremy for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants Milagros.  It was nice to have some adult time and some amazing food.  Really we haven't done much this visit, just enjoyed regular life and being together.

On Saturday Spencer and my mom made pancakes for everyone.  We went and cheered on Allison's basketball game.
Taylor is giving Jeremy a big hug
Then Melissa our great respite worker came to play with Taylor while the rest of us went bowling and out to Kneaders for dinner.  I forgot how fun bowling is with our kids.  And ability and age definitely don't go hand in hand.  And of course on the way out to the car we had to go through my favorite toy store:

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Allison's spotlight

Realized that I did not sufficiently show off Allison's cake making skills with her debut cake:

Biggest news of the week is that our baby girl turned 7.  Her celebrations started a day early with Jeremy meeting her with Costa Vida take-out at school to eat lunch with Robyn.  She was on cloud 9 to have her dad there with her.  And then for recess she gave everyone cups of milk and Trader Joe dunker's for a treat.

Saturday she woke up early waiting for us to bring her breakfast in bed and wake her up by singing Happy Birthday.  She tried to pretend that she wasn't awake and that it was a surprise but we all knew better and her day started off on a good note.  She roamed the house ecstatic that on her birthday she didn't have to do any jobs but watch her pink cake cook.  (I know pink cake - I must have taught her wrong somewhere).

While Allison made Robyn an artist palette cake entirely by herself, Robyn and I left for her birthday outing.  We picked up her cousin Kayla to go to color-me-mine, a paint it yourself ceramic shop.  I had to do some defensive painting on a mug for Robyn as I found myself having to bit my tongue to keep from saying, 'are you sure you want to do that?  why don't you paint this spot over here?' etc.  It was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Then it was back home.  Robyn had planned her family birthday party out all by herself and chose to have Jason's family meet up with us for nachos, strawberries, grapes, cake and ice cream.  Of course with little cousins around the dress up box got raided and she was Alice for the night.

She loved all her presents and is currently working away on a paint by numbers kit.  It has made for the most peaceful Sunday afternoon, I might have to get some more of them!

It is hard to believe that it has been 7 years since she was born.  When she was labeled as failure to thrive after not doing well for the last month of pregnancy and for the first month of life who would have thought she would grow up to be such a bundle of sunshine in our family.  And she makes us smile.  At dinner we say the best and worst of the day she has said every day this week that her best was practicing for Annie.  She even had to practice her whining as she didn't think she could do it well enough.  We all assured her that she was a natural.  Or Monday we went to the church to practice our basketball skills - Robyn and I were relegated to the sidelines never fear.  She was going to give us a thought for FHE afterwards.  She was in tears saying that she doesn't have any thoughts and that she has never had any thoughts.  Or when she pantomimed last night how her new alarm clock will go off in the morning and she will leap out of bed in a happy dance and a whirlwind of getting dressed activity.  I think we will keep her.

Our world can use a little sunshine right now.  We have had non-stop inversion for a few weeks now so everything is gray, frozen and cold.  At least it has warmed up a bit during the day so we get above 10 degrees some days.  Our road is still an ice slick.

Last Sunday Allison was reading Little House in the Big Woods and wanted to try making molasses candy in the snow.  We decided it sounds better than it really is but they had fun trying it out, and Rocky had fun licking up all the remnants they left outside accidentally.

With the cold weather I have been tackling those cleaning projects I kept putting off for someday when I am stuck inside.  The dust bunny refuges that have formed under beds and in closets have been closed down.  It is rather gross looking in places I normally don't go like ceiling fans and bathrooms closets.  But I have found a few lost treasures along the way like the missing pipe snake for our bathroom.

Spencer had a momentous occasion this week when we realized that all these naps and extra meals have helped him grow another 3/4 inch in the last two weeks.  So he is now officially the tallest member of our family and is standing up straight so he can look "down" on Jeremy.

Taylor stayed home Monday from school still not doing good.  But then he perked right up for the rest of the week only to crash again on Saturday.  Seizures aren't horrible this time but he is definitely not happy.  Wish sometimes there was an easy way to diagnosis what is troubling him.  Hopefully he will snap out of it soon.  And I will continue to dream of warm beaches and naps.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Lazy Sunday

There is something about freezing temperatures outside, long dark nights and overcast skies that make naps and sleeping in seem like the thing to do.

This week was back to reality.  The girls started up play practice for Annie after school.  The first day Robyn came back ecstatic and singing, "It's a hard knock life" over and over and over.  And then she learned that despite having play practice she still had to do her regular jobs and homework.  It was a sad and loud awakening.  Allison's other play had their casting meeting where they announced everyone's parts.  She was cast as one of Ursula's tentacles who will be dancing around the stage, a sea anemone and a little bird.  She was very excited to be doing some dance numbers.  On Saturday they had costume fittings which thrilled her.  I am amazed at how much work volunteers do on these plays.

We have been hit with snow and cold this week.  It hasn't gotten warm enough to melt the streets and sidewalks so everything is a mite slippery.  But the storms have cleared out the inversion so when it isn't snowing you can see the mountains again.

And really there isn't much else to say.  Reality such as cleaning out a pooped in dog crate two mornings in a row, or the fact that Taylor has been having seizures all day and is pretty out of it combined with the normal stuff of school, and activities occupy our days.  So many things seem small at the time but I often feel (especially when it is a loud whiny moment in our household) that we should all be as happy as kings with the life we are blessed with. 

This week did end on a high note for us though.  We got to go out to dinner with a few friends and Allison with Robyn in a tow did a group babysitting of the little kids at one of the friends' houses.  She loved working with her older friends to take care of all the younger ones.  And Spencer loved watching just Taylor and checking out his older kid TV shows.  So we all had a fun night.   And today girls are making valentines while the boys snooze and read.  Later we are going to finish My Fair Lady that we started last Sunday with sick kids.  Kids have been singing from that musical all week.  I do feel quite responsible for any weirdness that has rubbed off on my kids but I figure there are worse things.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Vacation is over

I posted our New Year's Eve photos below.  We started the party early Monday meeting cousins at the Riverwoods for a zoo-like kid only celebration of the last noon of the old year.  It was fun, it was crowded and we left after everyone got their faces painted and played a few games.  Then that afternoon after cousins got settled at our house for a New Year's Eve sleepover we went to the Lehi indoor pool.  Taylor and I hung out in the hot tub and while he slowly became a limp noodle, the other kids swam all over.  The experience of getting Taylor around the pool and hot tub helped me decide that I needed to wear an ankle brace still and go back on my anti-inflamatories.  Life has been much better since.   (If I ever wondered where my kids get their whiny, complaining traits from - now I know - it is most definitely from me as I have become the biggest wimp)

The idea was for all the swimming to tire kids out - didn't really work.  So it was back home for hot tub, showers, fondue night, destroying all our gingerbread houses, playing some games and measuring everyone and watching movies.  At midnight kids ran outside to bang on pots and pans in the snow and then I went off to bed hoping that everyone would crash.  And they did or at least I assume they did as I turn into a pumpkin around midnight and crash.

The next morning Allison made everyone waffles and then we headed for a nearby park for some sledding before cousins had to go.

Then to recover from all that fun kids got to stay home while Jeremy and I went on a double date to see Les Miserables.  Awesome and amazing.  More for the acting than the music I thought but I love the story and it hits me every time.  A great way to spend New Year's.

Wednesday as our last hurrah before school started we went to a trampoline place with friends.  Kids bounced all over the place and had a great time.  Then Allison had try outs for her Little Mermaid play.  She felt really good about how she did and was called back Saturday to try out again for several parts which made her week.

This week has been freezing - literally.  Every morning that I have gotten up the temperature has been negative something.  Getting up at -3 and pitch black is hard to do...really, really hard.  But we are persevering and getting back into the school schedule.

Friday night we went to the opening game for the men's BYU volleyball team.  Some days we are really glad that Taylor is part of our family.  The facility isn't wheelchair accessible for the cheaper seats so instead they set up chairs for us right behind the team bench.  It was very cool.
And despite what it looks like in the photo everyone (but Robyn) had a great time.  Spencer enjoyed yelling with all of the BYU team and they truly were really good.

Some type of flu like stomach bug hit Jeremy Saturday and Allison today.  So they have been sipping their ginger ale and munching on saltines and perfecting their looks of utter misery.  Its sad to see them so down and hopefully it will end soon.  We started our New Year with our annual month of no sugar.  So maybe they are experiencing withdrawals, I know I am.