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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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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.

At the end of July we drove down in two days to Dana Point for my family reunion.  We stopped over in St. George so the girls and I could see Matilda at Tuachan and Jeremy could get in a bike ride.  Every reunion we do pictures of our family.  This year everyone surprised Jeremy by arranging secretly with Allison to smuggle down Jeremy's "I choose to live" shirts for everyone.  It is probably my favorite picture of our family we have ever done even with Taylor (stayed in respite) and Spencer missing.

We stayed in a gorgeous house right on a rocky beach at Dana Point.  Every day we picked a new beach to visit.  San Clemente, Dana Point, the one in front of our house,   Newport Beach was by far everyone's favorite but any beach anywhere is my happy place.  We biked, played, swam, ate and had a great time just being together.  We even went parasailing which had been Jeremy's father's day present which was so cool to do.  We at the best ice cream bars, went boogie boarding, girls tried surfing, Jeremy did long bike rides along the coast, we battled enormous amounts of seaweed and sharp rocks and everyone got sunburned in uncomfortable place.  Family is just the best.  Nothing fills my bucket faster.

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.