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Sunday, December 2, 2018


The older I get the more grateful I am for our family and friends and awed by who they are and what they do.  We were super excited this year to have my brother Daniel and his family join us for a week.  They definitely brought the party and love with them and we just had the best time being spoiled rotten by all their attention and ideas for activities.

Robyn got to be checked out of school and go tour BYU with them.  I am still trying to convince my kids that BYU is the place to go...along with all my nieces and nephews!  They even stopped by my classroom so I could show them off and they brought me flowers which just still makes me smile.

We watched the Nutcracker with littles and Fantastic Beasts with the adults.  We went to a BYU basketball game.  Daniel took ALL the kids with him to go swimming while Mimi and I baked away.  We visited, played, shopped and just had an awesome time together.  I wish Denver wasn't quite so far away!

Thanksgiving Day ended up being a rainy day for most of the afternoon which cancelled our traditional hike.  So we played games, ate, watched the muppets, football and the Macey's Day parade, did a puzzle and trolled through Black Friday sales.  Kelly and Jason's family joined us along with Kelly's parents.

Mimi and Allison took off for Black Friday shopping.  A tradition which Allison loves.  I don't think so much for the shopping as for the visiting and talking with Mimi.  Friday, all of us girls went out for a bit to check out a few sales.

Friday night we went up to Temple Square to see the lights and for the bigs to see Savior of the World.  While walking in we ran into Spencer.  He definitely had a deer in the headlight look but I got to hug him before he quickly walked on with his district.  Small miracle for me and one of the best Christmas presents.  Jeremy took little kids and Taylor home to go to bed and the rest of us stayed for the play.  Always gives me a new perspective on the story of Christ and what it means to me.

It was a wonderful, way to short Thanksgiving break!

Lots of great stuff happened this fall but there was a lot going on in the background during our activities which just made everything hard.  Taylor had an accident at his day program October 2nd which ended up affecting most of our fall.  He fell while having a seizure and being changed and knocked his front tooth up into his gums.  This meant dentist visits and seeing if the tooth could be saved.  It was so swollen and he wouldn't hold still for a panoramic x-ray so we wouldn't know for two weeks that his upper jaw was broken.  We just knew that he was in a lot of pain and was not wanting to eat or drink.  This meant dripping calories into him with a syringe, visiting instacare for IVs etc.  Then once we knew for sure it was broken it meant surgery to get the tooth pulled and the jaw patched together.  Unfortunately, although he was no longer in pain he still refused to let anything touch his mouth and it was getting harder and harder to get any nutrients in him.  So eventually I took him into the ER, which showed that he had lost 16 pounds, 4 liters of fluid and had a sky high ammonia level.  So he was in the ICU for a few days then the regular floor until he was relatively stable.  Then onto to Stonehenge a nursing rehab facility for another week with a feeding tube while he got stronger.  Then finally home!  It was a long 6 weeks!  After a few days I stopped staying at the hospital over night which made life easier but those 6 weeks left me just tired!

With that going on in the background and sort of affecting everything, we had some very cool moments as well.  Jeremy got to go on a week long cruise with his brother Jason through the Bahamas as part of an incentive trip with Organo.  They had a great time together and enjoyed the warmth, food, beach and all the fun that goes along with that.  It was work for Jeremy doing photos and telling his story but he also had a ton of fun.  On the way home someone stole his camera case from right next to him.  Due to the kindness of strangers and friends, it was found and returned to him, all in one piece.  It really was a miracle in my eyes.

We had fall break and slipped away for three days while Taylor stayed with respite.  We went to Bryce which was beautiful and super cold at night.  I think we are too wimpy to camp when its 22 degrees at night!  The girls couldn't help but compare our "family vacation" with Jeremy's "vacation"  It was a great time though and we got to go on a horseback ride which was probably my favorite part.  We all learned that vanity over wearing puffy coats and thermals quickly vanishes when you are cold!  And that I will always make sure a hike happens no matter what.  We brought bikes but only broke them out for a few minutes as it was just too chilly.  One benefit is that if felt like we had the park and campground to ourselves!  It was beautiful and still one of my favorite places to visit.

Jeremy had a century bike race in St. George with two of his friends.  It was quite an accomplishment for him.  He loved the sign at the end right before a big hill that said, "its a hill.  get over it."  Figure that summed up what was going on right now!  The day he came back is the day he started his new drug Sutent.  This one is really having some tough side effects for him.  Took a few days to kick in but then wow, its been rough.

Allison went to Disneyland for five days with her theater group including her really good friend Julie. They played hard and went to some amazing dancing and acting classes.  She had the best time and came home to crawl into bed and make up for all the lost sleep.

Robyn had rec volleyball twice a week and loved it.  Most of her team were volleyball champs but they were super kind to novice Robyn and taught her and cheered her on.  We told her its the best way to learn is to surround yourself with really good people!

Allison for her birthday got tickets for her and her friend Evy to see Come From Away.  Thanks to Evy's parents who arranged to get them from the state football game to the theater and then back home as Taylor was still in the hospital.  ThenAllison had a trip to SUU with her Evy for a weekend.  Jeremy drove them down, hung out at a hotel and then brought them back.  Allison had a great time checking out the campus and college life.

And lastly, the week Taylor came home was also the week our carpet for upstairs was scheduled to be put in.  It was awesome and totally worth it but a real pain to clean out every bedroom and closet.  I was extremely grateful for those men in our ward who came over to move all our big furniture out of our rooms and then came back the next night to put everything back.

So just a few things going on this fall and the best part besides Taylor being home is coming up.  But that requires another post.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Back to

For my birthday I commissioned a talented neighborhood teen to build me a library for our front yard.  Boy did he deliver!  It makes me happy every time I see it.

It was such good timing too.  The day I came home to him installing the finished product was the day we learned Jeremy's latest CT scan showed new tumor growths.  So Jeremy had a biopsy done on a tumor on his lung.  His brother spent the long day at the hospital until I could get off of work.  We are saving my personal days for when we really need them!  Jeremy's day was longer and more painful as he developed a pneumothorax (air pocket in his lung) and had to wait to make sure it would start going down and not require a chest tube.  A really long, tough weekend for him.

But...a few hours later early that morning a friend took him surfing at the lake just to give a little more oomph to the day and sort of spit in reality's face a bit.

We are still waiting on the results of the biopsy but in the meantime Jeremy is back on Gleevac with its lovely side effects as we wait to see if we need to change medications.

I had planned for school to start for me right after our California trip BUT my room was still a construction zone.  So two days before school started I was able to put everything back in my room.  I was very grateful as originally it wasn't going to be ready until the night before school started!  I am a little OCD about having everything squared away so that was stressing me out.  Luckily I also got blessed with three amazing aides this year, two of them returning from last year.  AND the district decided to pay for me to train them before school started.  Starting the year knowing what I am doing and having my aides know what they are doing makes life so much better.  Second year teaching is so much more fun than first year.  I have greater confidence, knowledge and just an overall sense of what I am doing and friendships with the people I work with.

With my room under construction my hours were pretty flexible as I did paperwork at home.  This meant I could go with Robyn to her before school started field trip and hike to Timp Caves.  It was fun to meet all the kids who will be in her ALL classes.  There were all the open houses and school tours that went along with Robyn starting at the junior high.

Spencer continues to enjoy his mission, moving from the family history library's discovery zone up to the British Isles and Australia research section.  And do some fun things like hikes and baseball games.

I got to go to youth conference with Allison.  It was just an over nighter up Provo Canyon.  Friday night we played games and did a very cool sensory story of Christ experience...and then play ping pong till midnight.  On Saturday we did a devotional and tubed the Provo River.  Shortly after I was released and called into Relief Society so it was a little bitter sweet for me to know this was my last activity.  They are just amazing girls and even more amazing leaders and it was a privilege to be with them.

Jeremy got to have a daddy-daughter campout in Diamond Fork which now thanks to the fires is gone.  Robyn's friend Nylie went with them and the two disappeared which is why they don't appear in any pictures!

Taylor got a stander.  Its been a long process to get it here!  We have been keeping it at his day program so he can use it there every day.

The kids and I with friends in tow got to enjoy the Timpanogous Storytelling Festival.  It is one of my favorite traditions but really hard to describe.  Both girls just check in periodically with me, mostly to get food or money, but they both are emphatic on how much they love going.

Girls started back up with piano (Allison), guitar (Robyn), theater & tap (both of them) and all the other school craziness.  Robyn is trying out volleyball this year and seems to like it.

Jeremy's sister came into town for a convention so we were able to get together for dinner.  Always good to catch up and wish we didn't live so far away from each other.