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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter and Family

Jeremy gave me a great gift for my birthday this year.  I got to go to Colorado to visit with my new nephew and my brother's family for a weekend.  True love involved him running kids to a piano competition, a 5th grade opera performance, gymnastics, an outing to the movies, cleaning the office as the sole parent while trying to put on an open studio event and attend an LDS create seminar.  True love and multi-talented that is how Jeremy roles.

I loved every minute of my weekend family fix.  My niece Claire decorated my room with drawings of flowers, Mimi provided a delicious brownie cheesecake to fatten me all weekend and I got to hold my nephew, visit with my brother Daniel and have Sammy bring me Barbies to dance with.  We enjoyed a morning at the zoo before a big snow storm hit wondering around.  Mimi graciously stayed in the car with kids so Daniel and I could be fellow book nerds and check out a cool bookstore.  We tried to prolong with day with sandwiches at the park but the cold front could not be ignored anymore.  So we retreated home to spend the weekend cooking and playing.  I got to see the girls swim and go tour a candy factory with Mimi and Claire.  It was just a wonderful weekend of catching up and holding a baby.  Can't be beat.

Allison's grade had each class put on an opera.  I got to go to the school assembly version to cheer her on as she sang little solos pretending to be a strict teacher. 

Now that that play is over she is concentrating on Little Mermaid with practices daily and all day on Saturday.  It is going to be awesome.  She keeps telling me this production is a whole different world than anything she has ever done before.  Makes for a tired but happy little girl.

Spencer spent the last two weeks finishing up his homework for the BYU pow-wow.  He got three merit badges this time: radio, oceanography and forestry.  So his homework became for a large part our homework.  We visited with a ranger, drove through the canyon looking for plant samples and toured the aquarium.  It was quite fun and busy and now I am really glad he is done. 
 Last night after Allison's all day rehearsal Spencer, Allison and I went shoe shopping.  Buying Spencer's shoes are painful but when he can wiggle his toes at you from his shoes I figure it is time.  And for some reason Allison now likes to accompany me when I buy her things.  Its rather fun...unless we disagree.

Spencer's latest joke last week when we had tons of snow and rain versus this week of sunshine and warmth still makes me smile.  I was commenting that April showers bring May flowers and he said what do May flowers bring?  Pilgrims.

Robyn got invited to a fun spring party while I was gone.  They had a tea party, made flower hats, planted pansies and did all things little girly, ignoring the snow outside.  Robyn told me it was wonderful except for the little girl who threw up everywhere. 

She has discovered the American Girl Doll books lately and has been slowly reading through them.  She has to work to read them but is greatly motivated.  It even means she runs to get in bed so she can have time to read at night.

Jeremy has been gone this weekend to the Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork working a photography event.  He came home late last night sunburned, raspy, sore and tired/happy.  But I think he must be enjoying it as after sacrament he went back down again to set up their camp.  I am sure he will have some amazing photos to post.  He has been trying to sell our trailer as we are trying out a partnership in an RV for the summer.  The kids are very excited at the thought of driving around seat belted to a couch.

Taylor had his first massage last week.  A masseuse came out to evaluate him to see if massage therapy would help with his constipation and muscle movement etc.  Taylor quite enjoyed the process - who wouldn't?!  We're hoping insurance approves and he can start on a weekly basis in a month.  This past week we finally finished tiling Taylor's bathroom.  We have been talking about needing to do it for a year or two.  We have been looking at tiles for a month or two.  And now it is all done, tiled, sealed, floorboards and caulked/painted.  Yay!  Giving Taylor a bath upstairs and walking up and down those stairs with Taylor reminded me of how much I love his shower on the main floor. 

Easter Sunday kids are all smart in their new Easter clothes.  We had to rush the morning a little bit with 9 am church and Spencer having to leave at 7:45 to set up chairs and prepare the sacrament.  That meant I made a big parenting mistake when Spencer didn't get up.  I let the girls search for their dozen died eggs while he was getting ready.  Realized on a day when we celebrate the idea that families can be forever I forgot that sometimes to show how important that is we have wait for what seems to be forever to do a family activity together.  But some tears and apologies and we are good again.  Good lesson and reminder to me.  And of course we had egg salad sandwiches for breakfast and kids repeated them again for lunch.

Cousins have come over for the afternoon.  Played with new frisbees in the sunshine, made bunny rolls with me, organized the playhouse, took a dip in the hot tub and are now ready to try out dinner and a new dessert. 
To be followed by a massive egg hunt outside put together by Jason and Kelly.  They are definitely in a happy sugar place.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

A 14 year old

Friday Spencer turned 14.  Today he was ordained a teacher and registered for seminary.  Hard to believe that he is this old, or this tall.  It still seems wrong that he now looks down on me!
For his birthday we woke him up with breakfast in bed.  Allison decorated his locker with Extra gum for an extra special birthday (and as a side note Spencer was able to shrug off the fact that a kids had stolen a bunch of the candy off of his locker - not cool).  That afternoon he soaked in our record highs of 77 degrees playing outside with his new basketball from his grandparents.  And then he was off to Tucanos with Jeremy for as much meat as he could eat.  It has become a favorite part of his birthday.  He was on a high all day. 

Friday night his cousin Garion slept over and the next morning the two boys left bright and early for a Boy Scout pow-wow at BYU.  When I picked them up we stopped at JDawgs for them to enjoy hot dogs in the sunshine.  Can you tell we are experiencing spring fever as we are outside whenever it gets warm right now?

Then at home we met with a friend for cake and the boys and their dads went to a shooting range.  They had a great time.

 Spencer asked for a leather jacket for his birthday and has been wearing it constantly ever since.

It was a good day.  Just a little packed though as Jeremy had a missionary photo shoot all morning, I needed to paint the set for the other play Allison is in and the girls had their closing night performance of their current play Annie.

All the girls hard work paid off this week and they are TIRED especially Robyn.  They would come home every night on a play high so excited and happy and then they would crash by ten.  On Friday I let Robyn go to school an hour late just so she could get in a little bit more sleep.

They had long rehearsals Monday and Tuesday and then performances Wednesday through Saturday.  I got to go twice and Jeremy went twice to watch and video.   And they had cousins with Jason and Kelly come, and several friends.  I am always grateful for the love and support shown towards our children.  Help me and I am grateful.  Love my kids and words cannot express.  The play got better and better throughout the week and was such a neat experience for them.

The play sort of felt like it consumed the week.  Whenever there was a break we would head outside to enjoy a breath of spring.  I got to go for a long bike ride.  I de-poopified our back yard - my least favorite spring chore - so kids could run around freely.  Jeremy's fish tank that he has been fish-sitting finally sold and moved out this week.  The two bully goldfish that somehow grew to 4 inches long got left behind.  Saturday I mucked out our pond and we dumped one in (one didn't last until the pond was cleaned out).  We will see if he can make it through the cold nights.

On Tuesday we got to go to the temple with Garion as he went to do baptisms for the dead for the first time.

We figured out where our sink was leaking from thanks to our neighbor plumber.  So now we have to decide whether to replace the sink or the faucet only in our kitchen.  There is always something breaking or about to break and thats just how life goes.

Our kids are pacing around waiting for reuben sandwiches and leftover cake.  I didn't do much for St.Patrick's day this year.  Next year I will have to break out the lucky charms!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The stoic and the chocoholic

This week Jeremy's will power was amazing to behold.  His back laid him low all week with ice packs, stretching and severe pain giving him grief.  He saw a physiologist twice this week who seems to have manipulated things around so that relief seems to be in sight.  It is not great yet but he can walk and sit now.  And with all that going on he decided to tackle a pretty strict one week diet called the GM diet.  One day he could only eat fruit, one day only vegetables, one day 8 bananas and some glasses of milk, one day 20 ounces of beef and 6 tomatoes etc.  He lost 10 pounds.  He spent all day Saturday doing photos for the girls' play, worked at the studio some, took the girls to their piano recital and out for dessert.  All this with hunger and back pains.  Amazing.  To end his diet he drove me to Trader Joe's so I could stock up on cookie butter while he munched on his organic carrots.

I on the other hand was a wimp and did not join him in this diet adventure as I made cake for my dessert day.  Needless to say any weight Jeremy lost, I gained and now I must repent but it was really, really worth it.

Last Sunday was Allison's turn to make dinner.  She chose Italian wedding soup, ham and cheese rolls and cookie dough truffles.  Halfway through she just turned into an emotional, tearful mess and couldn't continue.  Thirty minutes later she had a 102 degree fever that lasted till Wednesday morning.  Robyn decided to join her with a bad cough and whiny disposition that put her on steroids Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday the girls headed back to school but Robyn came home that afternoon and spent the rest of the week on the couch hacking away.  Cross our fingers we are now back to normal.

With a little more down time this week, I started the curtains for our dining room, finished up a pillow for our living room and discovered that leftover cake and starting to watch downtown abby go really well together.

Sunshine came out this week and spring fever came into full bloom.  Spencer headed out on his bike almost every afternoon and even I got to try out my bike again.  It feels so good to have sunshine and blue skies.  Its still cold but 45 degrees feels very spring like.  I even spread out fertilizer on our dead grass and prayed that green things will soon appear.

The girls' play is next week so rehearsals are getting quite intense.  On Saturday their rehearsal lasted from 9 to 5.  Good thing for the weekend as our girls are a little fried.

Today we got to spend the day with Jason's family.  Garion, my nephew turned 12 this week so he was ordained to be a deacon today.  It was fun just to spend the day going to church with family, relaxing and visiting.  I always forget to take pictures when we just hang out.  Girls run around their near by park.  Guys kick back in recliners for a Sunday snooze.  Someday I will remember to break out my camera to record these events.

With the warm weather Taylor has been chirping, laughing and happy to play.  On Saturday morning I got together with some of my oldest friends for breakfast.  Taylor got to come along as I tried to remember how to break apart and put together his new wheelchair.  He thought the outing and a breakfast burrito were great. 

Spencer had a youth conference where they talked about family history and then went roller blading.  He caught the bug and came home to jump on family search asking if he could take different names to the temple this week.  I wish I was more up to date on how to help him with this.  I need to figure out how to check that those names weren't done by Laurie and recorded in her stuff but not on the church site. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New Wheels

On Thursday Taylor got a new set of wheels.  He was fitted for it back in September but we had to wait until it was officially 5 years since we got his last wheelchair for the insurance approval to go through.  And then a few parts took awhile etc.  I wasn't super excited for this wheelchair to come but it is not as hard to deal with as I thought it would.  It is too big to fit in our van so we have to take it apart every time.  By that I mean lift off the handles, the sides, the back, the seats and then collapse the frame.  I think if it is snowing or raining, it will have to be an important occasion for me to take Taylor somewhere in his wheelchair as it is a pain to spread everything out and assemble it.  But I can easily lift the broken apart wheelchair into the van which is nice.  And Taylor really likes his new chair.  It is so much more comfortable for him.  It has shoulder restrains instead of a chest harness that he is having a hard time getting used to.  But it keeps him upright.  Instead of foot straps it has a calf strap the we put on only when he is going places so he doesn't stick his feet out and kick people or doorways and hurt himself.  I just need to put a BYU sticker on his chair somewhere and it will be complete.  Taylor has been in such a happy place lately.  I think we have the digestive issues worked out and he is eating as much as we can give him.  He chirps and claps and walks all over.
Last Sunday Spencer picked out a dinner and made it for us.  Apple/Snickers salad, green salad and sausage/potato/egg casserole.  It was delicious and because it was Sunday it worked for it to be a 2 hour process.  Spencer beamed as the girls had seconds and thirds of everything.  Tonight its Allison's turn to be chef.
Spring is in the air here.  Today it is raining instead of snowing as we have gotten into the 40s and sometimes even 50 degrees during the day.  I got to run outside this week and even try out my new bike clips with a bike ride.  I haven't fallen yet.  But I am told the falls usually occur in the time period between being paranoid anxious about clipping out and having it be second nature.  So maybe if I just stay paranoid I will be safe.  We planted our Easter baskets with grass this year.  I think we might have done it too soon as its already grown quite high.  But its been very fun.  We used cat grass and I was curious to see if Macho attacked it but not yet.
On Friday night Allison and I had a special girls' night up in SLC.  We went out to dinner at Creekside Mall - Kneaders and cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory and then on to see Shrek the musical.  I know, I know, I didn't know it was a musical either.  It was through her Center Stage youth theater group.  It was quite fun.  I am so glad to have a daughter that I get to do these things with.  We were at the Capitol Theater which is this gorgeous old building and sat on the third floor.  6 long flights of stairs to get to our seat!
I think we almost have the tile for Taylor's bathroom worked out.  I mistakenly picked out wall tile instead of floor tile with my first Home Depot run.  So this week I need to pick out a new tile and then we found a guy to do it for us.  We debated doing it ourselves but Jeremy said he would rather do another photo shoot.

Jeremy has had a tough week.  He was able to do some photo stuff, going to a class on positioning.  But his back has gotten worse all week till Friday he could barely walk and couldn't stand up straight.  His lower back is just seized up.  So he has been laying on ice packs for a couple of days now trying to get it to relax.  Hopefully things will improve soon.  The girls told me that they were fasting for his back today.  He somehow managed to shower, shave, take some pain pills and sit through Lincoln with me and a few friends Saturday night.  It was a great movie.  I read the book Lincoln just a few months ago so it was neat to see the history I learned come to life before my eyes.

The girls are heading into the final count down of their Annie play.  It has made for some tired emotional nights.  I am learning that everything can wait sometimes and Robyn just needs to go to bed for some quiet time.  This week they have practice every day until 6 and then a dress rehearsal all day Saturday.  I think we will make some early nights of it this week!