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Sunday, September 23, 2018

June & July

My habit of blogging every week has become a monthly habit and now more of a tri-anual event.  Writing to Spencer on his mission has taken its place it seems psychologically speaking.  But I realized that I need to play some catch up before events become too fuzzy.

In June we got to enjoy Strawberry Days on a smaller scale this year.  We went to the annual concert in the park where Jeremy laid in his anti-gravity chair, we visited with friends, and ate strawberries.  We went to the fireman pancake breakfast and car show.  I had to work during the parade but Jeremy and Taylor got to be in the parade while Robyn watched with friends and Allison did a weekend with Kaori.  Then Jeremy went to bed with Taylor and the girls plus Kaori and I got to enjoy the Rodeo.  I love Strawberry Days.  It sums up everything I love about Pleasant Grove.

June I got to go to Girl's Camp with both of my girls for a week just outside Sardine Canyon in Wellsville.  Allison was a YCL this year with Ashley Court and loved it.  Robyn got to be a beehive and learn how awesome camp and friendships can be.  It was super hot during the day and we enjoyed ice cold showers with a hose set up in the middle of the field.  Slip n slides, tons of food and crafts, cows that mooed at us early in the morning, and late night karoke singing.  Too little sleep and wonderful friends to relax and play with.

We had a formula this year of a group activity, a physical game and a spiritual activity every day.  Lots of down time to relax and play games as well.  Probably my favorite activity was where girls did a choose your own adventure activity and picked up rocks representing burdens and trials along the way.  At the end they laid them in front of a picture of Christ and we talked about how Christ transforms our burdens for us.

While we were enjoying Girls Camp, Spencer was thriving on his mission with a trip to the Manti Temple Pagent.

In July Robyn did a volleyball camp and swim team and Allison worked a bunch at Chubby's.  Jeremy helped me get our volunteer hours during one of Robyn's swim meets.  She has gotten so fast and loves swimming.

And of course we had the annual 7-11 celebration of slurpees.

Jeremy began biking again and working from home.

Then with Jeremy doing well, I checked Taylor into respite and took my girls and niece Kayla for a girls weekend to St. George.  For Christmas we had given our girls season tickets to Tuachan so we went down to see Cinderella and Prince of Egypt.  Super hot and amazing.  We got pedicures, hiked in Snow Canyon, went to the flea market, did our back to school shopping, ate lots, swam, did baptisms at the St. George Temple, and just had a great time together.

In our aim to pack in as much as fun as we could this summer between surgery and school we went to a Pentatonix Concert one night which was awesome.

And of course a few post surgery visits such as getting follow up immunizations.  Since they had to go up to SLC anyway, Jasper came along for his shots and Allison to act as chauffeur.

Spencer continued to enjoy his mission, his companion and everything he was learning.  Love seeing him grow up.

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.