Monday, November 9, 2015

Five things learned from a Road Trip

Back in October, we-minus Colby and Landon- took a little road trip down to small town, USA because Jason had to give a presentation in the Gunnison prison and we decided to join him.  Here's what I learned.
1-I don't live in the middle of nowhere!  The people of Manti, Ephraim, Gunnison, Sterling, etc, etc, they live in the middle of nowhere.  And it's beautiful by the way.

2-Small town eats are ridiculously good and ridiculously bad for you, but they are ridiculously good.  Did I mention that? Cue Fat Jacks aka Roy's pizza.

3. It's been way too long since I have been in the mountains in the fall.  Ephraim canyon was amazing.

4. For me it is pretty hard to find true relaxation anywhere except the mountains (except the ocean of course.)
5.The temple doesn't have to be open to be amazing.
It was short, but a wonderful way to spend a couple of days.  I'm going to do it again soon.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Warning: sappy, sentimental post ahead.  But this is my first time doing this, and I'm just being real. : ) Every night before I go to bed and after my kids are asleep, I walk into each of their bedrooms to check on them-one, to make sure they are there, and two, to hopefully send a little more love that I may not have given them earlier in the day-because some days just end wrong. Tonight was Colby's last night before he heads to college tomorrow and I am just melancholy right now after walking to each room.  He's going to be all right, he's ready and it is going to be a great experience for him.  But tonight I just want to cry (cue the Keith Urban song here).  From here on out, when he sleeps here it is going to be temporary.  I know he's going to be back often, but since this is my first time with a child moving on I've just been thinking a lot, wondering, worrying, hoping.  It's where I need to remember that he was never completely mine in the first place.  He is God's son too and I had the blessing of raising him the best I knew how. And he is absolutely amazing. He really is. Heaven knows we clashed and often.  We really, really struggled at times and it took the help of great friends and family to help us sort that out, but we ended good today.  We shopped for things like sheets and salt and pepper and laundry soap (and can I just mention how weird it was to have both diapers for Madilynn and freshman dishes for Colby in my cart?)  We tried out a new sushi restaurant and bought Magic cards and went to Cold Stone. We packed and cooked together. We ate and played with the Palmers, some of our oldest and dearest friends, and even got to prank them again for old time's sake.  So forgive me for being a bit down.  Because when it comes down to it, he is going to be okay and good things are happening and I am really excited for him to start these new adventures in his life.  There are so many memories to be made in life, so here we go!  Here's to new beginnings, adventures, people, and memories. You've got this Colby!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Change of Plans

What an interesting week this has been. I guess you could probably call this Passport drama part three.  After all the work and runaround to get passports for Colby and Landon, we ended up having to postpone our cruise at the last minute because Dallin ended up in the hospital.  The irony of it all is a bit interesting if you ask me and I secretly keep checking the news to see if our ship blew up at sea or anything like that.  So far, no.
On Monday, I went in to get a root canal and a temporary crown and I took Colby to the foot doctor and learned that he needs foot orthotics from Dr. Scott.  Then on Tuesday, Jason learned that while he was planning on changing jobs on Aug 1, his old boss wanted him to leave on Tuesday.  It was actually a relief for Jason, but is still quite stressful.  (Especially since his old work's Lagoon day was Wednesday and had the potential to be very awkward- but we focused on celebrating Grandma T's birthday and it worked out okay.) Wednesday was also the first day that Dallin had a fever. I was a super good mom that day and gave him ibuprofen and drug him around Lagoon anyway. Oops! He did actually go on rides and alternated between sitting down and resting in the middle of Lagoon and going on rides and having fun.
Anyway, the rest of this post is all the medical drama of this week, so if you're not a nerd like me, feel free to stop reading.  Just know how grateful I am that everything is going to be okay, all of it, always.  Things work out and we always have more to be grateful for than to complain about.
So on Thursday, I was living life as usual and had gone visiting teaching.  I knew Dallin wasn't feeling well and had a fever, but he was taking it easy.  When I got back around lunchtime, he was complaining about his neck, and as I checked it, I discovered that the lymph node on his left side was about the size of a bouncy ball.  It was huge, and there was no definition between his jawbone and his neck. I called the doctor, and we headed in. (Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my brother Jared was arriving from Minnesota for a visit and we were having a BBQ at our house that night). At the doctor's, he prescribed an antibiotic because of the possible infection in the lymph node itself and he ordered some blood work to check for Mono and some other things and we learned that he was negative for strep.  As I was sitting him up on the doctor's table though, we noticed this weird rash on the inner part of his legs that didn't resemble any disease or reaction and wasn't bothering him.  So we got the blood work, picked up the prescription, headed home and put him to bed. Around 11 that night, he started complaining about the rash and I noticed that it was all raised. Weird.  Then at about 2 in the morning when he was throwing up, I noticed the rash was spreading.  Here is a freaky picture of it.
So I am now on Google in the middle of the night looking up scarlet fever and other weird rashes and I don't find anything.
Friday morning, he is feeling the same with the fever, around 104 today, rash, bloodshot eyes, swollen lips, and nausea and vomiting and not and wanting to move around or walk. We had Brother Partridge come over and help Jason give Dallin a blessing. I call in to the doctor about the rash and they order a steroid cream and are wondering if the antibiotic is making the rash worse.  Jason stayed home and took care of him and the rest of us went up to the Deer Creek with my brother and family and had a great day.  I tried paddle boarding and loved it, but of course I feel guilty about all that looking back now.  We picked up Amanda on the way home and brought her to our house too. Dallin was the same when we got back, and he threw up a couple more times in the night.
Saturday, day four of the fever, more vomiting, his eyelids are even red now, and he is having difficulty walking. We keep trying to get him to drink and stay comfortable. I went to a Relief Society activity for a bit and Jason took him over to our friend Cami who is in PA (physician's assistant) school right now. He was actually going to get some suitcases from her because we were supposed to leave for the cruise on Sunday night, but Jason thought she might want to look at Dallin while he was there.  About an hour after that, Cami has done some research and called a PA she works with, sent her a picture and they both independently came up with a concern for this weird disease called Kawasaki.  Never heard of it.  But I learned that it is an inflammation of the blood vessels in the body and can lead to heart damage, so we need to follow up.  What??!!  So I take him into our pediatrician's office again and the PA feels so bad because he didn't realize how bad the rash was. After consulting with another PA there and the doc on the phone, they decide to send us up to Primary Children's ER to have him checked out for this Kawasaki disease. At the ER, they have to get a wheelchair to get him to his room because it is bothering him too much to walk. We then spend the next 8 hours doing blood work and an x-ray and ruling out things like mycoplasma pneumonia, rocky mountain spotted fever, scarlet fever, allergic reactions and a bunch of other stuff. Three different doctors come talk to us trying to figure out if this is Kawasaki or not.  The real problem is that a defining characteristic is 5 days of fever and we are on day 4, and his rash looks a little different and he is older than the usual patients with this, and his tongue and mouth aren't as inflamed as usual.  And then to throw another kink in things, Jason, Colby, Landon and I are supposed to be leaving on a cruise in less than 24 hours.  If he just has a virus, then he can be kept hydrated by my mother or sister, but if he has Kawasaki and has to go into the hospital for two days of treatment, then I'm not going on the trip. Ugh, what to do, what to do?? At ten that night, we finally decide with the doc to take him home and if he has a fever to bring him back on Sunday.  I take him home and he is nauseous and throws up almost the whole way home, but he does actually sleep the whole way night.
On Sunday, I literally debate for hours.  I finish getting the girls packed and send the rest of the people except Madilynn off to church.  His rash is a little lighter, and his eyes and lips aren't quite as red, is he getting better or not??? He's definitely not eating or drinking like he should. I take his temperature over and over.  I take it in his ears, I take it in his mouth and under his arm with 3 different thermometers. And most show fever, but some don't and I don't know what to do.  Do I pack up for the cruise? Do we take him into the ER? We say a prayer with our family and decide that by 2:10 after Sacrament Meeting, we will decide for sure.  During that time, Melissa and Jared come over, look at Dallin, take his temperature again and kick me out on the way to the hospital.  I hope y'all don't think that I was trying to put a cruise or money in front of the health of my son. It's just that with my education and with being a mom for 17 years, I know that there is nothing they can do for a virus except keep him comfortable, and I just didn't want to overreact.  We even joked with Dallin that if they didn't figure it out then he could name his illness after himself. : )  At the ER, the same doc looks at him and agrees that while he looks a little better, he does still have the fever and his heart is racing and they want him to be checked in the hospital and treated for Kawasaki.  Decision made.  We're staying home and taking care of this little guy.  They start an IV and give him a big 900cc of fluid which he apparently really needed because he didn't go to the bathroom for 5 hours afterwards. They eventually move us upstairs into a room, Jason gets to the hospital, Grandma and Grandpa Morton come and visit, and roughly at midnight, they start the aspirin therapy and the IVIG which is the standard therapy.  Jason sleeps in the bed provided and I climb in by Dallin and we try to sleep a little.  It was a long night.  We even read a bit of Harry Potter at 4 in the morning to try and wind down. I should mention as well that one thing that was bugging me the most was his eyes.  He couldn't open them all the way and they were red and sad.
Monday the team of doctors start to come in and evaluate what's going on and start explaining stuff.  The IVIG has a waiting period after administration to evaluate for any side effects.  While they are administering it, since it is a blood product, they have to check on his vital signs a lot.  After the infusion is done, they have to watch him for 36 hours, and then if he has any fever, they have to give him another dose, but hopefully not.  On Monday morning, Melissa and Jared and Amanda come up and bring plenty of laughs and brush his teeth and read him Shakespeare and the like.  He loves the toy and joke that comes with breakfast, being able to order whatever he wants, likes the X-box and movies and all the other "free" stuff. He is able to walk quite a ways away down to the echocardiogram that they do in the afternoon and it comes back clear.  Things are looking good for us to head home on Tuesday.  We actually even sleep quite well that night with not many interruptions. Traci Palmer and McKennah come to see us and bring an amazing frog balloon and Cami stops by and brings minion stuff and Grandma and Grandpa Webb come too.
(The important parts of the picture are Dallin's happy, but red eyes, both Shakespeare and Harry Potter being in the picture-family joke- and weird Uncle Jared from Minnesota)

Tuesday starts off okay, but he doesn't seem to have much of an appetite.  By afternoon, he is much more sluggish, and I am begging him to eat.  He has cried a few times and wants to go home and asked if Colby was old enough to drive his family up to see him.  Colby was actually able to come up and watch some Pixar shorts with him around lunch and that was a tender moment to watch. I had a moment of breakdown too this morning and called my friend to talk things through.  In the waiting period around 4 when Dallin is not supposed to have a fever, the docs come to look at him and he is so sluggish that he falls asleep while they are talking to him.  They are thinking that they should watch him another night. Ugh. At this point, I feel like I could watch him at home, but then the tech comes in and checks him and and he has an actual fever.  Okay, that is a problem. The doc comes back in and says that they need to do another dose of the IVIG and wait another 36 hours afterwards. He needs this second dose and I get it, but he's going to be devastated.  However, right at that time Brady and Jessica and Ryker show up with Raylie and Madilynn!! (and some Legos and chocolate, I might add). It was so good to see my girls, and I have missed them so much.  (Missing the cruise had some serious benefits though in that all the other kids were taken care of because they were already headed to Jessica and Melissa's house for while we were gone.)  The girls were cute and sat by Dallin and Madilynn was so stinking hyper.  Then Melissa showed up with the rest of the kids except Colby and London, and this cheered Dallin up considerably.  They watched Pixar shorts and ate popcorn and listened to Weird Al Yankovich and he felt better about things.  One frustrating side note in all this was that in all the testing, Dallin ended up having rhinovirus as well, which is the common cold.  So that meant that he wasn't allowed to leave his room or go to the playroom or outside and all the docs and personnel had to wear masks when they came in.  I don't think he'll ever know what any of his doctors or nurses actually look like.  So it was great for him to be able to see all of his family.  When I told him that he had to stay, he just cried.  He didn't even want me to read Harry Potter that night.  Sad.\
Wednesday brought good news in that he ordered a tuna sandwich for breakfast and while he didn't eat much of it (who would at nine in the morning??) or much else that day, we did get him to drink 4 Carnation instant breakfast drinks. (A random interesting side note here is that the only other time that any member of our family has stayed in the hospital overnight was when I had intestinal complications after Dallin was born.  And ironically, the one thing that my poor stomach could finally tolerate was Carnation instant breakfast.  Hmmm, interesting, don't you think??) He got to call into the playroom and participate in Bingo via the television.  My friends Chandra and Alanna brought their families up for a visit and some laughs. Hugh and Cami came by at different times with movies and treats.  Our home teacher, and Uncle Kevin and Grandma and Grandpa Webb and even his school teacher came by.  And everyone brought him something.  He felt so loved and felt like he had another birthday.  It was absolutely amazing to me to feel that kind of love from people.
On Thursday to top things off, Marci brings up Dallin's best friend Grayson to see him and they actually get down on the floor and play.  It made me cry and I was so grateful to see him cheering up.  And then by around 4:30 when he still hasn't had a fever and is eating and drinking better, we get to head home.  We come home to a heart-attacked house and enjoy just being together as a family again. 
He has to keep taking a low dose of aspirin and we have to follow up with the cardiologist in a few weeks, but he looks so much better and I am so grateful.  We are in the process of trying to get a postponement for the cruise and hopefully someday I'll know why we weren't meant to go on that trip.  But for now, I am just happy for a healthy boy. I am so grateful for God and good medical peeps and amazing friends and family and for finally getting to see the bright eyes and beautiful smile of my Dallin again!
Going home!!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Passport Drama Sequel

Thought I would post the follow up for our passport drama from last time, mostly because the story gets better and I'm never going to remember it all if I don't write it down.  : ) First off, as a side story, Cameron got invited to go with his Uncle's family down to Rocky Point in Mexico, a resort about 4 hours outside of Phoenix that is also called Arizona's Beach.  We were told that we didn't need a passport for him, but with all our previous luck, we decided to get one anyway, just in case.  We did it right this time, went to Costco, paid $6 for 4 pictures, and Jason and I both met up at the state offices in Provo, so there was no need to get a notarized permission from a parent. I had already filled out the application online, and made copies of both sides of our driver's licenses, so we just had to wait for about 20 minutes for our turn, which was still interesting considering we had most of our young'uns with us.  We turned in the papers, paid the fees, and his passport card arrived about 4 weeks later.  However, by some lucky chance I happened to notice before we got to the state office that one of the fees had to be paid by a check or money order-(this never should have happened because 1) it is 2015 and no one should ever be required to pay anything by check anymore, and 2) if you will see the last post, I apparently am blind to the small print on passport applications.)  One other catch with Cameron's whole international travel experience was that because he was traveling out of the country without his parents, we also had to send him with this birth certificate and a notarized letter from both Jason and I authorizing such an adventure.  So that added in another trip to the bank to get the letter notarized.  Cameron actually already went on his trip to Mexico, had a great time, and seeing as how his other cousins never got their passports at all and are safely back in the US, I am not so certain that he needed any of the paperwork that we sent him with.  And frankly for all the work it took, I don't want to know.  Ha ha!
Back to Colby and Landon..... About a week after we got Cameron's passport turned in, we got letters in the mail for Colby and Landon stating that 1) their pictures weren't going to work because the backgrounds weren't white (yes they were) and 2) that the notarized letter from Jason stating that Landon was authorized to get a passport was expired.  It wasn't expired when we turned it in, it expired by the time the state department got to it.  So that means, a trip to Walgreens for Colby to get pictures because Costco was closed, a trip for Landon, another $30, and another trip for Jason to the bank to get another notarized letter signed and we send it all back off on the 27th of May.  We are now about 5 weeks into this process.  At the end of June, the website still says that their passports are in processing, and we are hoping to go on our trip in July, the trip we are not ready to schedule until we know that we can get passports.  First funny thing is that the website says if you have questions about your passport application that you can either call or email.  So I email and I get an email in response telling me that they can't answer my questions via email for security purposes.  Really? Once again, it's 2015 folks.
So Jason makes a series of calls and spends a total of about 3 hours on hold over a few days to learn that they do have the passports but they are in line.  We mostly wanted to find out if our whole 4-6 week waiting period started over when we sent in the new pictures or what.  It took a couple of days to get the right supervisor because the regular people said that it was going to cost an additional $60 each if we wanted to expedite them. What??  Finally, a supervisor tells Jason that the passports have been in their possession long enough for him to waive the expedition fee, but he can't waive the $15 each priority mail fee and if we don't priority mail them, then we probably won't get them in time.  Fine, priority mail them please.  Wait, the next day another person calls to let us know that they only priority mail the passport books, not the cards-which is what we got Landon-, and did we want to pay the additional $70 in order to get him the passport book instead?  No, we don't!  and in the meantime, I find out that since it is a close-circuit cruise, despite the fact that the cruise line highly recommends that one have a passport, it is not required in order to board.  Really?  But guess what, 4 days ago, Colby's passport book-which was priority mailed for $15- and Landon's passport card-which came with regular mail service- arrived tucked nicely together.  So we have them, they are here, off we go!  What a process!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Comedy of Errors

I fully recognize that this post is all about #firstworldproblems but today I have got to write down some craziness I recently experienced, just so I remember. In order to pursue an adventure that is hopefully in our future, we decided that we needed to get passports for Colby and Landon.  We looked up where to go, filled out the applications, planned a Saturday family breakfast at IHOP with a Christmas gift card and went down to the Lehi post office to turn in our applications.  First error, you need an appointment, and there were none for a few weeks.  Okay, we were frustrated because we thought we had checked the website about the need for an appointment and that post office does not answer the phone. So we scheduled an appointment and enjoyed breakfast at IHOP.  We had scheduled appointments on a school day afternoon in between when Landon could miss the last bit of class and before Colby had to be to work.  And since Jason wasn't going to be there, he had to go wait in line at the bank to get a form notarized stating that he agreed to let me get Landon a passport. So we're about 2 hours into this process by now.  Then we have the unfortunate experience of no longer wanting to pursue the adventure based on certain behaviors of certain people and we cancel the passport appointment altogether.  Actually we pull a no-show, which I hate, but they seriously won't answer the phone down there.
Two months later, we decide to try again with the adventure plans and can't get the post office to answer the phone, so Colby and I go and stand in line for 15 minutes to schedule an appointment 3 weeks out (which is three days before Jason's notarized document expires).  Yay! Last night, I forgot that we need pictures for passports, but I thought I knew what they wanted and figure we will just take them ourselves.  Cheaper? yes. More convenient?  no way  Two hours folks, two hours.  My printer refused to cooperate. Refused!!  It kept putting lines through the pictures and wouldn't do the right size and I was running out of printer paper. It was getting late and we even tried a friend and their printer wasn't working and Walgreens machines are out for two days. I finally found a website called, in case you are interested, that helped with the sizing.  I put in my last two pieces of printer paper, checked every single setting, said more than one prayer, and they worked!
And then this morning, I noticed that there are a couple things that I needed to change on the application, so I redid them.  So now I am armed with 2 applications filled out, birth certificates, copies of birth certificates, copies of drivers' licenses, passport sized photos, a notarized release all in a folder ready to go. Should be smooth sailing from here, right???? Not so...
I give the girls an early lunch and nap around 11 so I can wake them up at 1, so we can go and check Landon out, which luckily my sister was able to do for me.  Landon "needs" to drive because he has his permit and mid-way, Raylie "needs" to go potty, so we stop at Neptune park at the bathrooms there.  Then we pick up Colby on center street in Lehi after he had had lunch with his friends...don't ask. As we are getting out of the car, I ask Colby if he has his ID (which I had previously reminded him about) and no he doesn't, so books it out of there in the van to go retrieve it at Westlake because technically one of our appointments is at 2 and one at 2:20.  I walk in with Landon and the girls and learn within two minutes that she can't accept Landon's application because I don't have a copy of the back of Jason's driver's license. What??? Oh and the pictures are "iffy" because they are a bit pinkish.  So I need to schedule another appointment unless I can get a copy of the back of Jason's driver's license by 2:20.  No pressure, right?  We walk outside and plan to go and get a fax sent to a business close by, but guess what? we have no car because Colby has taken it to get his ID. I call Jason to get him to fax me a copy, no answer.  I call his work and he is at the ropes course.  I call over there, and learn that he is 30 feet up at the top of the ropes course running the zip line. Really? Luckily, there is a real good friend running it with him and dear wonderful Bill comes to my rescue, but where should he fax it to?  Run Landon Run!  And he did--with money in his pocket to get someone to accept a one page fax.  Run to Kohlers--they only send faxes-not receive them, run to the animal hospital--their printer is broken, run to a random dentist office--yay, they will do it, run back to the post office with the number.  Meanwhile, the girls are being absolute stinkers.  I am trying to make all these phone calls and they are wandering all over outside the post office getting dangerously close to the street and the parking lot. Ugh.
It's 2:20 and Colby comes into the parking lot just in time.  I send him in with his paperwork and keep looking for Landon to come back.  Landon comes back to tell me that the dental office will do it, I call Bill to have him fax it over and then I go to load up the girls to drive with Landon to get the fax.  Just then Colby calls out the door that they won't do any of the paperwork without me, so I go in with him and the girls and Landon takes off running again. While we are doing the paperwork with Colby, the girls are being stinkers again! Running all over, being loud, throwing a fit when I try to contain them, etc, etc, not to mention that Madilynn has now pooped her diaper. I also find out that they need a copy of the back of my driver's license, but luckily they will make a copy right there. 
And then we are almost done with Colby's and I am getting nervous because I get the feeling that this lady is going to make me schedule another appointment if Landon doesn't get there now.  I pick up the phone to call him which he doesn't answer because whew! he is right behind me with a lovely copy of the back of Jason's license. So I send Colby out to the car with the girls and luckily the lady starts working on Landon's application (I had complimented her on her absolutely beautiful handwriting, so maybe that helped)  She warns me again that she doesn't know if they will accept the pictures and says that they can take them there, but they cost $15.  I'll take my chances with the state department.  And then we left and they are done.  Yay for bureaucracy!  Wow!!  Of course, such an experience warranted some Waffle Luv on the way home of course.  Mmmm.
As a lovely addendum to this, I have since learned that the easiest routine is to get your pictures at Costco and go directly to the state office on Center street in Provo.  For next time, right??

Friday, April 17, 2015

God's Hand at the Redbox

I had a rough morning today with my sweet 3-year-old and we had been arguing a lot.  I had told her I would take her somewhere fun if she did her job and it didn't go well, so we didn't go.  We did have to go on errands however, so with both of us sad we got in the car and headed to Ridley's.  As I turned in the parking lot, I had the thought to not forget the Redbox I had ordered.  I shopped at Ridley's and then turned into the gas station and passed by the Redbox to go into the car wash.  After the car wash, I finally stopped at the Redbox to pick up the movies.  As I stood there, I looked up and saw a dear friend of mine who was in serious trouble and had been trying to avoid people.  She walked over to me with a sheepish look on her face and after we talked for a moment she told me that God had put me there today.  We kept talking and we went to lunch and helped her to get some things fixed and then she went home.  I still cannot stop thinking about how amazing it was to be in that exact place at the exact right time and it showed both of us something really powerful.  One, for her it showed her that no matter what, seriously no matter what, God cared about her a lot. And two, it showed me, that even on my off days when I am sad and doubting myself, that God is still aware of all the details of my life too.  God is in the details of our lives.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dental Irony

I've got a funny tale to tell about the dentist of all things, where Murphy and Karma collided this week.  I used to have amazing teeth and never had a cavity until I was 17. Now? Not so much.  Every six months when we go in for our cleanings, I have a cavity.  Usually, except for an occasional one for Chase, I am the only one that has any.  So I have to reschedule an appointment to go back and get it filled. But this week, oh yeah, I was thinking ahead for once and just scheduled a filling appointment at the same time as our cleanings so as to avoid coming back.  I had a filling that needed to be done from last time, and then surprise, surprise I had a new cavity and a broken filling. So I got numbed up on three quarters of my mouth so as to avoid coming back.  (Are you sensing a theme?  The inconvenience of not being able to eat for a few hours totally outweighs the hassle of coming back and the gentler method of only numbing part of my mouth at a time.)  The point is, I was trying to take care of every dental issue on Monday, March 31 by 4:30 and not come back! But nooooo, here is what happened-
Raylie- the three-year-old who probably brushes her teeth the worst has zero problems
Dallin- needs an ortho consult because his back molars are coming in on an angle and are going to potentially push the other teeth around
Chase-2 cavities
Cameron-first cavity ever
Landon-needs a periodontal consult for a gum graft based on serious receding exposing a root on one of his teeth
Colby-needs to get his wisdom teeth pulled this summer for his mission
Jason-broken filling needs to be replaced
So, we are not only going back to the dentist, we now have three specialist appointments.  Ha ha ha! The irony! Say cheese!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

40 is the beginning of everything that matters

Words of wisdom in a birthday card from my dear grandmother:

40 is the beginning of everything that matters
It's when you start to be respected in the world, make an impact and get listened to.
It's when you let go of everything fake and pursue what's important to you for real.
It's when you realize that knowing what you know, you wouldn't go back.
40 is when you deserve to celebrate yourself and take pride in your strengths without apologizing.

Just saying.....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

California Dreamin'

Time to get my act together and get this trip blogged because I am loving looking back at the pictures and the incredible memories that were made. 
Tuesday 25-got kids to school, took Raylie to the doctor's with an ear infection, drove to in-laws to pick up father-in-law to drive to the airport to pick up 12-seater van, got a 15-seater instead, picked up Ray's prescription on the way home, called neighbor Matt over to take the seat out of the van, loaded the whole thing with all vacation gear, drove to Mountain View to meet Jason and watch Landon wrestle in practice dual-where he wins two of his matches, took Colby to pawn shop to get new converter and long boards, stopped at Walmart to get new converter, met Jason and rest of kids in PG at Grandma's, ate pizza, left for St George, potty stop in Fillmore, Dallin throws up in the car, pull over and throw vomit in bag into rest stop garbage can, get to St George and go to bed.
Wednesday 26-Colby's 17th birthday, eat waffles for breakfast, Jason goes to work at St. George facility, the rest of us go swimming at the hotel where Colby and Landon drop Dallin against the wall upside down, grab lunch at Wendy's, go and see Grandma and Grandpa Tischner in Ivins, eat croutons and sandwiches, feed chickens, Grandma colors with the girls, Raylie falls asleep in Grandma's lap while she sings my childhood songs to her, Raylie also answers Grandma's phone in the other room and tries on some of Grandma's make up, Brady, Jessica and Ryker come over, then Jake, Nicki, Brooklyn, Tyler, Sadie and Jackson come by (first time actually seeing Nicki walk!!), most of the crew go and hike the mountain while I get Madilynn to sleep, they knock rocks down the mountain and everyone brings dozens of burrs into the house and Jake dutifully vacuums them, which remarkably doesn't wake Madilynn but Landon steps on a few, which is hilarious, we go and pick up Jason at work and tour the Steps Recovery Facility, stop at Kmart, and then Smiths for eye drops for Madilynn's developing eye infection, eat dinner at our favorite Ocean Buffet which now has a sushi bar, yum, and where Colby and Landon try oysters, yuck, and where Madilynn is a stinker, Mel takes Colby and Landon to Mockingjay for their birthdays, say hi to Leatherwoods the hotel and go to bed.

Thursday 27- Landon's 15th birthday, eat waffles for breakfast and Cameron burns his hand on the wafflemaker, go swimming with Leatherwoods, get ready for Thanksgiving at 11:00 at the lovely Chuck-a-Rama, they decide to open at 10- so we have Thanksgiving dinner completely done by 11:30, the teenage boys are stinkers and put salt in many a person's food, head to a park where the Turkey bowl commences and Cameron takes down Grandpa Morton, go ice blocking on leftover ice blocks and discover that diapers make a great pad to sit on and keep one's pants dry, Jason reads Porter Rockwell while watching Madilynn at the park, head back to hotel for naps and electronic time, then head to the store to buy pie for Kati's house and learn that there is no pie to be had, end up at Walgreens where we buy wrapped chocolate chip cookies and mini fruit pies, enjoy family at Kati and Randy's and the young'uns play Ghosts in the graveyard and go on a snipe hunt, then head back and swim some more. Got to see G &G Tischner, Mike & Becky, Kati, Randy, Emma & Mason, Jake & Nicki & company, Dave &Melissa & company, G &G Morton, Brady & Jessica & Ryker. Much to be grateful for.

Friday 28- eat waffles again, pack up and have to stop in Mesquite!!! for the bathroom, ugh, then we head to Vegas with Austin and Jackson in our car and Dallin and Chase in with Leatherwoods, we drive the Strip and thoroughly impress the boys and then stop at a Subway for lunch only to discover that they won't take any of the 2000 Subway points we have saved up, ugh again, BYU won a game on this day, not sure which, we then put up with Jason's crazy driving and drive all the way to Cali without stopping until we make a wrong turn and get stopped by no less than 15 stoplights on our way to show the kids the beach before sunset, we make it to Huntington beach to let the kids wade a bit and for some to see the Pacific for the first time ever.  They get soaked in their levis and all end up sitting in their underwear in the van, which is especially funny since Landon gets Facetimed by a friend, ha ha, we stop at the Taco Bell and order 30 tacos which totally throws the drive-up lady for a loop, I shop for groceries at Costco and end up being the only one in the whole store with a full cart of groceries- totally unlike Utah, then we find our condo and set up camp, it's a nice place with plenty of room for us.


Saturday 29- Learn first thing that the van is so tall that the only way to get it out of the condo's garage is to have all the family sit inside while backing out, we repeat this neat trick like 20 more times while we are there, went down to Laguna Beach-beautiful, played and boogie boarded and body surfed and relaxed and walked and fed seagulls that would eat of our hands, the kids were absolutely delighted by the ocean and for the longest time were the only ones in the water, huge waves, kids pretended to be in a bath with mud as soap, Landon getting pulled by a lifeguard from a riptide he didn't know he was in, Cameron being buried in the sand and building a booby trap with a blanket on the sand, used the stroller as a dolly to transport everything, stayed till after sunset- beautiful!!  The ocean is my happy place. Then we ate alfredo and salad as a family and went to bed.


Sunday 30- Went to an 11:00 ward and learned that they had been fasting for rain-this becomes important later, the speaker said "fasting changes you", my favorite quote, take a nap, then all-Leatherwoods, G&G Morton, G&G Tischner, Kati and Randy and fam come over for pulled pork sandwiches, go up to the LA temple to see the Christmas lights ( which without the cold and the crowds was the coolest thing ever), walk around the visitors center and watch a movie and all say what we love about the family, the Packers win.

Monday 1- Disneyland! We go on Small World as a family, and then we split up and go on rides all day, Mason is so cute screaming on all the rides, Grandma T is in a wheelchair and Raylie rides in her lap, Raylie in her Rapunzel costume in the petting zoo, Jason, Cam, and Chase do single riders and get on tons of rides, Melissa who hates spinning things and Emma who doesn't get dizzy go on the teacups together which is the funniest event of the day, get a picture of Madilynn and Nicki walking together (their last picture was from the hospital in Milwaukee), the older boys photobombing all day, eating yummy fish and chips, delightful day


Tuesday 2- California Adventure! Another fun day with a significant catch, it rains on us literally the entire day, we find ponchos in a hotel gift shop and the day is filled with wet plastic, we go on Screamin' in the rain and Cam asks to go again, I tell him no and within minutes a car is stranded on the tracks for an hour in the rain- glad he didn't go again, everyone gets to go on the Cars ride except Mel because it breaks down while London is waiting to enter the track, it never gets running again, loved Tower of Terror, Melissa holding Madilynn and beating Colby's score on the Toy Story game, Landon doing "pop-a-wheelies" with Grandma in her wheelchair, ripping Jackson's poncho on purpose, going on the rapids ride on purpose and getting even more wet, drying out in Flo's CafĂ© and later in the Aladdin show, Me, Cam, Chase, Kati, Brooklyn and Tyler and then Jake going on the Screamin three times in a row at night with the pelting rain- it was awesome.

Wednesday 3- It continues to rain and rain all day, Jason, Melissa, Dave and the older four boys go to the Newport Beach temple and do baptisms for the dead, me and Jason go to Coldstone with Dave and Melissa, take a nap, hang out at our place until evening when we take Cam, Chase, Raylie and Madilynn to the Lego store and let them play, and Madilynn throws the tantrum of her life, get lost finding a Little Caesar's, head back to our place with everyone and eat pizza and watch National Treasure

Thursday 4- Just our family drives up to Santa Monica and meet Uncle Bryce at Bru's Wiffle where the boys are fascinated with all the ways they can serve fried chicken on a waffle, they have a hot sauce drinking contest, we drive up the Pacific Coast Highway and go to Leo Carrillo State Park and see maybe 5 other people the whole afternoon. The girls are delighted with the birds and sand The boys and Bryce explore tide pools and chase the waves and boogie board and body surf and enjoy having the beach to themselves, we find crabs, hermit crabs, birds, a dead seal, a sea slug squirting purple ink, anenomes, a cave, throw oysters at the birds, they get tired of getting beat up by the big waves of the ocean, explore for a bit and get right back in and we drag them out way after sunset, we clean up the beach for Cameron's merit badge, the dirt caves when Mel is climbing back the car and she falls but it was the most amazing day ever with big beautiful waves and a breathtaking sunset and adventures to last in memories for years. When we get back, me and Jason go on a date to the Cheesecake Factory and run into our good friends the Scotts from back home (and getting told that one is supposed to pee on a jelly fish sting, for future reference).

 Friday 5- We drive down to San Diego and pass the beautiful temple and go to an uncrowded Sea World and enjoy the Shamu, dolphin, sea lion and pet shows- with trained cats, not less, loved the walrus and the fish eating skin cells off our hands, boys eating popcorn faster than the worker could bag it, Dallin sat by himself down by the water so he could get splashed by Shamu, loved all the critters and the boys say they loved it more than Disneyland
Saturday 6- We load up the car for the last time and leave California, Chase said he couldn't find any cute girls anyway, and make it all the way to Vegas without stopping, stop for a potty break, then drive to St. George where they will accept our Subway points and enjoy a good sandwich, then drive all the way back home, empty out the van, Jason and Colby take it back to the airport, and Mel puts things away and we find that our home teachers took great care of our home while we were gone and even have Sunday dinner waiting for us.
 And even though we have had wonderful weather lately, I do miss the ocean and the wonderful memories made there.