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Sunday, June 24, 2018

End of May and Most of June

School ended for us May 30th...except for Allison as High School seems to end a week early and then they just play for a week!  Robyn celebrated by inviting her class over for a movie night.  Ended up being just all the girls and a lot of junk food and Hugh Jackman.  Lovely time for all of us to just hang out.  My parents arrived that Tuesday before school got out and were able to cheer on Robyn for field day and help with all of the end of school year drama.  Robyn always wishes that I could be there for more things.  Jeremy did get to go see Robyn's dance festival and my parents got to see her Field Day.  And we got in one last family walk, with some severe grumpiness thrown in there by some parties.

I was able to go to Taylor's graduation.  He is officially done with all schooling.  Very strange to think about.  It was a tear jerker of a ceremony though and amazing to see the wonderful people who have been part of Taylor's life.  He had several old teachers there including his old pre-school teacher from the School for the Blind!  One speaker talked about what each student had taught him and for Taylor it was that people and interactions with people are more important than anything else and that you need to take time to just stretch and relax.  I spent May meeting with various agencies and Taylor started his day program at Everest June 4th.  He goes every day from 8-3 and seems to really like doing music, games, crafts and projects every day.

That last Wednesday in May Jeremy wanted to do one last item on his bucket list and ride the Alpine Loop.  He had some amazing friends that took the afternoon off and spent 6 hours with him doing 40 miles up through our mountains.  Still can't believe he did it with all the pain and difficulties he was going through.

Then we were on to the main event on June 1st with Jeremy's surgery.  He was pretty miserable leading up to it but kept powering through everything.  Then the day after school ended we were up at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. for a 7 a.m. surgery.

They removed this one huge tumor that we knew about along with the spleen and part of his stomach.

And they removed two bigger tumors that were new and had been causing him pain on his right side as well, along with him omentum that had many small tumors in it BUT they were able to just scrape and peel away the tumor from all other organs.  They did have to leave a lot of tumors in place and we will talk about the next step to look at in a few weeks.  But it was a miracle for us and a testimony to the power of faith, prayers, fasting and blessings.  He came out of surgery around 1:45 but had trouble controlling his pain for quite a while.  My friend Brenda and my sister-in-law Kelly came and hung out with me as we talked and I worked on brainless school stuff all day in the waiting room.  Not my favorite place.  He spent till Wednesday night in the hospital.  I stayed till late Saturday night and then started sleeping back at home again.

Jeremy just kept working to walk and take minimal amounts of pain pills.  He said recovery felt like he made a lot of gains really quickly and is now in the slow slog of gradually getting better. The amount of kindness and friendship shown towards our entire family this month has been unbelievable.  We have been carried by everyone around us and there are too many acts of service and love shown towards our family to list.  I don't know how people can think of so many ways to be kind.

While Jeremy was going through all of this I did 6 more days of work while my parents ran everything on the home front.  I would work from 8-3 and then go visit Jeremy till he went to sleep.  Friends kept Robyn super busy and tired out from swimming every day.  Swim team started at 6:45 every morning for Robyn and Allison did an ACT camp every day from 8-12.  Added in to that Allison started working at Chubby's as a waitress/cashier.  My parents kept all the kids running to their different places and fixing and cleaning everything possible in our house.

When Jeremy cam home his goal was to walk every day and it was pretty slow and painful at first but he is getting faster and its getting easier.  Before my parents left we had Taylor do his dental surgery - 17 cavities.  It was a little ridiculous.

Jeremy got his staples out at 2 weeks and has been getting more and more active.  He does stuff then takes a nap or reads a book and tries hard not to lift anything.  He even got to do a leisurely bikeride (for him) yesterday just 3 1/2 weeks out.

We have all enjoyed starting to have it feel a little more like a regular summer around here.

Robyn had an art class this month which she has enjoyed.  We went to the fireman's breakfast and the car show.  This year Jeremy just walked around and said hello to everyone and then we went home to rest.

Allison is keeping busy working and playing.  She got to go spend a few days in Benjamin with her friend Kaori and then they joined us for the Strawberry Days rodeo.

This year I had to work one more day during the parade but Jeremy had Taylor ride in a truck so he could walk with a friend running for sheriff and the Ropers adopted Robyn for the parade.

Robyn enjoyed going to the Strawberry Days concert with us and hanging out with friends and was excited to be grown up enough to do the carnival and Huck Finn days with friends.  She is in the age of wanting to be so grown up yet not quite sure how to do so.  I am so grateful for all the understanding shown towards her by so many as she makes that awkward transition.

We got to talk to Spencer for a few minutes after Jeremy's surgery.  He is having the best time and is loving his mission.

Sunday, May 27, 2018


At the end of April I picked Spencer up and brought him home for a crazy 10 days to get ready for his mission.  We had a combined wish Spencer good luck on his mission and tell Taylor Happy Birthday party.  It was awesome to hang out with so many friends for a beautiful evening of just visiting and being together.  The people our family are surrounded with are truly awe inspiring in the kindness, love, acceptance and support they show towards our family.  It is completely undeserved and so appreciated and welcomed. 

We also were able to go see the new Avengers as Spencer waited till after finals to go with us.  Then Jeremy was off for a week long business trip.  I think he timed it to miss all the last minute shopping trips and appointments.  Spencer was either seeing doctors, picking up odds and ends or vising different temples all week long.  It was a good week but just a tad stressful on me as emotions were all running high I think.  One super nice thing that Spencer did though was to camp out at the pool at 6 am Monday morning for two hours to get Robyn signed up for swim team.  She was very appreciative.

Jeremy arrived home from his trip Friday night just in time to meet me at Costco after I hit another car.  It was not my best moment.

You know those times when you just can't quite wrap your head around how you are going to be able to handle everything?  I couldn't stop crying at random moments for a day or two, my head hurt constantly and my had had a burn on it that really hurt.  But when ever I wonder how God is planning to have me handle everything - he always shows me the way.  Which includes lots of sleep, chocolate and love shown towards us by many people - including several car loan offers.  So a few hours later I was at the temple with Spencer and Robyn having my son baptize me and confirm me for his first time.  An awesome evening that gave me some perspective back. 

Spencer and I spent Saturday packing and then we all went to Jason and Kelly's for a family dinner.

Monday morning Maria came over at 6 to stay with Taylor and the rest of us drove up to SLC.  We were able to attend a Monday devotional with his mission, meet his mission presidency and many of the other elders and say good-bye.  Spencer was so excited and thrilled to be there and was eager to get on with mission life.  After attending the devotional, none of us had any doubts that this was the perfect fit for Spencer and that he would thrive in this environment.

We have had texts from senior missionaries working with him that Spencer is doing wonderfully in the Family History Discover Center and his emails sound like he is just living his dream right now. 

And for the rest of us life continues with all the end of the year activities and field trips and testing not just for my kids but also my students.  Robyn is ending elementary school so they have had author's fairs and 6th grade swim parties and country reports and many other things that I am sure I have missed seeing and hearing about.

So periodically we take breaks for snow cones:

or the city pool opening:

Allison took MORP pictures for her friends, following in her dad's footsteps:

Allison was selected by her teacher as one of two top chemistry students at her school.  So I got to spend an evening at BYU with her and all the chemistry nerds exploring the labs and presentations.  Seriously proud of that girl.

I was able to chaperone Allison's choir for their choir festival one Saturday.  My favorite part was when one girl who seemed to have some struggles came up to me and told me "I really like Allison.  Just so you know, she is one of the nicest people ever."

Allison had been studying for finals and AP tests, best buddies activities and service projects and lots of soccer games to go to and cheer.  Our high school won the state championship which was an amazing game of 2 over times and going to a kick-off.  Allison is so busy I am always grateful for some family time.

Jeremy came home from dropping Spencer of in SLC, changed and then was back off on another business trip for a week.  He had a pretty bad bike crash a few weeks earlier and  his shoulder is still giving him a lot of grief.  So its good that on these trips he has been an editor and not a photographer.

But he hasn't given up riding and has been trying to get out as much as possible since he came back home.

And when the pain gets bad, Jasper is always ready to help out.

On the Friday evening he flew back to UT he went straight to the hospital for a bunch of immunizations in preparation for loosing his spleen.  Then he met me to go out for a steak one last time.  Then his colonoscopy was last week.  Not fun preparing for but on the good news side - there were no signs of tumor on the inside of the colon.  That is really good news for us.   I was grateful for aides who cover for me so I can go to these things.

We are still van shopping but hoping to find a good replacement soon.  We now know all the vans that won't work with Taylor's wheelchair so that has helped narrow down the selection quite a bit.