Monday, December 22, 2008

White Christmas

I chipped away at the ice for over an hour today. The best part about it was having my little man keep me company through it all.

Shhhh.... don't tell our sales rep that we dragged his chair through the snow just for kicks. Crew did surprisingly well but it looks like we'll have to adjust the torque if he really wants to climb the snowbanks;

Crew is really enjoying the holiday lights, the cold, and the snow. The other night while driving around we stopped to look at lights and listen to our neighbors synchronized lights/music. I asked Crew if he "liked" the lights and he signed a definite "LIKE" and then clapped his hands. The sign is coming along:)


Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Break

Woohoo! These 3 handsome guys will be home with me for the next 16 days! S saw the movie "Bolt" with his school today. H made two gingerbread houses this week, one at scouts and one at school. Today he had a party with his class. Crew partied it up at preschool also! He came home with lots of interesting treasures. Crew isn't much of a candy guy but he did eat 1/2 of a chocolate snowman today. S doesn't eat much candy either. I guess H will have to make up for his two brothers' lacking sweet tooth (teeth). I'm really craving pizza today. Problem is that S and I are the only ones who would enjoy it.
I don't know how this post ended up being all about food. 'Tis the season;) Have a good weekend.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Artificial All the WAY

With only 10 days until Christmas I did the unexpected today...

Removed tree ornaments
Removed tree lights
Hauled our dried, crispy tree to the backyard firepit in anticipation of future bonfire spectacular.
Vacuumed up a boat load of dead pine needles
Scrubbed and shampoo carpet where tree stand made a stain.

Received refund for Dried Dead Tree
Purchased Artificial Pre-Lit Tree
Assembled beautiful clean 7 1/2 foot tree
Plugged in lights
Redecorated tree
Read "The Littlest Angel" to 3 happy boys while snuggling around the Christmas tree.
Indulged in Icecream over Brownies.
Called it a night.

Some days are productive like that! NOT. I learned my lesson: No more live trees for me. It's too much hassle and things get ruined. Oh, and I can get that same pine scent from my Reed Diffuser:)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Generous Donation

Our battles to get insurance to pay for a power chair have been significant! Its amazing how the loaner chair has brightened our little Crew. We have both primary and secondary insurance. You would think it wouldn't be so hard... but that is Utah for you!!!

Last week I received an unexpected phone call...

Another little boy, JJ, who also has CP and is older than Crew has graduated from his little Koala chair to a newer one. JJ's mom wants to GIVE us his Koala chair!!! I am so touched, and grateful, happy, relieved!

JJ lives in Texas. We are in Utah!

Now I am on a mission to figure out how to get the chair shipped here in one piece. This will be much easier than dealing with insurance, I hope! We are so blessed!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Holiday fun and Road Rash.

I'm not sure if my lack of posting has more to do with feeling overwhelmed or somewhat dissatisfied. Fortunately, I DO have enough sense not to shout those little secrets to the rest of the world. Apparently, when I get in these little funks I forget to pull my camera out of the bag. Sorry, I've got nothing to document the holiday.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for just the five of us which was a first. DH was ready to just stay home and take it easy this year. This was a better alternate then dragging 3 kids, wheelchair and various DME equipment 2 hours away to spend the day in a cold church. I ate sweet potatoes for the first time EVAH and they were so good! The mashed potatoes were also a hit and so was the Reese's Peanut Butter pie.

Friday night we stayed with extended family at a Girls Camp lodge that my parents had rented. It was fun reconnecting with family. The little nieces and nephews are growing up way to fast. The whole time we were there I was looking forward to my next run. I'm getting to the point that I cannot live without my runs. I need running and its a great feeling. Saturday morning when I woke up at the lodge I was eager to jump into a run. The road leaving the camp is uphill for about the first mile. When I got to the top of the hill I took off my gloves and my jacket. I was so excited to have made it to the top and set off for a 3 mile downhill course. I had just finished telling myself that it was time to practice downhill running S style. When S and I run he flies down the hills. S says its easy... "just let your body go". So, just as I finished telling myself to not hold back and pick up the pace, I find myself flying through the air. For some reason when I'm in a situation like this my brain processes everything in slow motion. Has that ever happened to you? Anyway, I find myself flying forward on a very STEEP, GRAVEL road! I realize that I am just going to keep on sliding down the road as soon as I hit the ground. Instinctively, I catch myself with just one hand and one knee and then I purposely rolled to avoid turning my face into hamburger. My plan worked quite well actually... not a scratch on my face! My left hand had sharp rocks embedded under the skin with some nice deep road rash. My left knee and right elbow also suffered road rash and now 5 days later I am left with some nice bruises on my knees, elbow, and hip. Truly I was quite sore the day after.

After I fell, I jumped up and checked out my wounds. Realizing I was one mile from the lodge I decided to continue my run. I ran 6.5 miles of hills. Not sure quite how I did it but still glad I did:) Also, I completed my goal of 100 miles for the month of November and that makes me so happy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have a lot to be grateful for... a warm home, food in abundance and a loving family. We are blessed to live in a beautiful area with majestic mountains all around. Our home and community is a place where we feel safe and secure. A place filled with kind, service oriented people. Laughter, Hugs, Respect. Oh, there is so much more...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Leaf Crunching

I love it that this chair (which we don't own but would like too) gives him the freedom to play in a way that he couldn't before. After sweeping out the garage, Crew discovered the joy of crunching this small pile of leaves that had blown into the garage. He steered the chair around in circles giggling as he smashed one leaf after another. Also, while S was mowing the lawn, Crew followed him back and forth across the grass until the job was done. Who would've thought a wheelchair could provide freedom for a little boy. It's interesting this journey... I guess I see things quite differently than I did before.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A checklist.

I saw this on Yvonne's blog. It looked fun so I decided to play along. I'm so grateful for all of lifes experiences. Things I have done are in Yellow. Looks like I need to travel more;)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch- I don't know what this means?
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb- No, but I've held a baby pig
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon- Just a 1/2
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language- Learning ASL
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing- No, but I've been spelunking
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Visited to Mt. Rushmore

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Weekend is HERE

I'm looking forward to breaking up the weekday monotony with something different. Running Crew to 3 different appointments this week and working part-time has left me with some anxiety because I don't feel like I'll ever get caught up with everything.

I'm loving that it is still dry outside and plan to go for a good run tomorrow morning. S is running the Turkey Trot tomorrow and I think the plan is for me to take a turn staying home with Crew so Carl can run.

S & H also have basketball.

And then there is "TWILIGHT" with a friend. yeah for me!!! Sometimes its nice to do something brainless even if it is Cheesy;)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So much to be thankful for...

Read no further if you are tired of these gratitude posts! I wouldn't blame you because sometimes it can get annoying:) I have to admit it definitely helps to focus on the blessings because its so easy to go the other way.

H rescued me from a screaming child last night. Sometimes I think Crew just needs a change of scenery. What an awesome big brother.

Gotta love the sound of the piano (not that our piano sounds good really but the concept of a child learning to play...) in the background. Keep up all that hard work S!

New glasses for Crew. We made our way south yesterday to see the ophthalmologist and came home with a new prescription. Today, we saw our favorite optical dude and ordered a pair of new frames with the transition lenses.

Tomorrow is Crew's botox injections. It's kind of strange when you look forward to these things. Also, the "LIMP" is back (which isn't a good thing) but I'm hoping the doc will help me figure it out.

Nieces and nephews-- I love you all! I'm a little bummed that we won't be with the in-laws this year for Thanksgiving. I miss seeing my 8 nieces and 2 nephews on that side of the family. It's been too long. However, I will get to see the 8 nieces and 5 nephews from my side one of which I haven't met yet. Love you Jett!

A good read. Just finished reading "Princess Academy". Can't wait to get "Goose Girl" from the bookmobile.

S is cruising along in the Scouting program and enjoying it. How grateful I am not only for the program itself but for his excellent leaders as well!

Carl is taking the day off tomorrow to come with me to Crew's botox appointment. Afterwards, we plan to do a little shopping at the outlets. Woohoo!

Well that's a good list, isn't it! I'm behind in my blog hopping. My deepest apologies for lack of comments. Hopefully I'll be catching up soon.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A November Rose

I thought I would share something I learned this week while searching for an object lesson to go along with my RS lesson on "Standing Fast through the Storms of Life". I loved the comparison using roses but wondered all week how I would find a true garden rose given that it has been below freezing quite consistently here. I was grateful today when I realized my neighbor had several surviving roses in her yard. Grateful again when she agreed to let me have a few roses for my lesson. Here is the object lesson:

Roses that are grown in a greenhouse are very beautiful but their scent is weak. Why is that?

Greenhouse roses don't have to develop a heavy scent to attract bees in order to flourish. They are fed, watered, and watched over by the gardener, all in ideal conditions.

Outdoor roses face much harsher conditions: wind, rain, cold, heat, and bugs. Outside, roses must develop the strong rose scent in order to attract the bees. Roses raised out of doors are both beautiful to see and to smell. If we lived under perfect conditions without the storms of life, we would not develop our "scents" as best as we might have, had we been strengthened through adversity. It is those who are tempered in the heat of the Lord's oven of adversity who develop a beautiful "scent". They bring joy and gladness to all around them and are beautiful spiritually.
It is so true! I have the outdoor rose and beautiful rose that I purchased (one that has obviously been grown in a greenhouse). Hands down... the scent of the outdoor rose is much stronger. Next year I will be planting a rose bush or two!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More Gratitude

The past many days have been rough. Crew won't eat or sleep (and cries all day) and I've been filled with anxiety knowing I have a Relief Society lesson to give in less than a week. Even though I've been mulling it over in my mind for weeks, I still did not know for sure how to present it. Tonight, after putting Crew in bed, and while he was still screaming (because he wants me) I locked myself in my closet and said a prayer. "Dear Heavenly Father... if you really want me to do a good job with the lesson you've got to help me figure out how to magnify my calling as a mother and as a RS teacher.... Please please help me get Crew settled down and asleep.... I cannot focus unless the home is still."

Ironically, my lesson is on "Standing Fast Through the Storms of Life".

I know it sounds strange but I was able to FINALLY get him to sleep AND get a concrete outline of my talk in only 2 hours time. I'm grateful in so many ways...

Monday, November 10, 2008

grateful #10

We had quite a long 3 weeks here toting Crew around. I wrote about his difficulty bearing weight on his right leg and his obvious limp. After seeing the PT and the pediatrician, x-rays and an ultrasound revealed nothing. Under the direction of his doc we treated him with good old Ibuprofen (3 X a day for 2 weeks).

We may never know why but last week Crew seemed to be completely healed. I'm so grateful that it wasn't something serious. He is walking again even running. I've noticed he is weak but it won't be long until he regains his strength.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

grateful #9

After 8 days without sugar, I have to admit the classic chocolate chip cookie makes my gratitude list. I found an entertaining article: "THE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE: AN AMERICAN ICON".
It's rather interesting. If your not already craving one of these cookies you will be after you've read the article;)
After church I reminded DH that today was my sugar day. He asked me what I wanted... "A chocolate chip cookie", I said. Lucky for me, DH was in a baking mood:)

grateful #8

S was 18 months old when I found out we would be having another baby. Carl and I were excited because more than anything I wanted S to have a sibling. I pictured the two quickly becoming close friends. S was a very obedient, mild tempered and happy little boy... I had no reason to expect anything other than total and complete bliss!

My pregnancy with H was fairly uneventful compared to the other two. Other than a whole lot of morning sickness which is suppose to be healthy anyway. The labor and delivery were a dream. Within seconds of H's birth the nurse exclaimed, "He has a dimple". H was also blessed with a full head of hair. I was so excited to take this baby home and share him with his equally adorable big brother.

The next few months are a blur but I do remember that all was NOT bliss as I had expected. Sibling rivalry was rampant in the Gizmo household. Too bad I didn't have all the experience and wisdom that I have now. LOL. I'm sure it was my reaction to S's reaction that started us on a path of sibling rivalry and contention. I remember one sad day when my very articulate three year old told me he wished he never had a brother. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

The boys are about as opposite as two people can be. It has been an interesting journey and we are all learning a little as we go along. S and H remind me of my two younger brothers who would wrestle and pounce on each other much to my amusement as well as the rest of our family. I've often marveled that my brothers have grown into fine adults and have become good friends. I suppose the two of them were probably friends all along... I just didn't see it.

Today, I'm blessed with these 3 wonderful boys. We have our ups and downs. I'm guilty of focusing on the negative but truth be told, I think these two really are good friends. Sunday is a family day here and because we don't have the distractions of neighbor friends, I find that these two good looking boys do in fact like each other. I'm so grateful that they are friends!

Friday, November 07, 2008

grateful #5, #6, and #7

I'm getting a little behind here. Obviously this gratitude list is in no particular order. Truth be told- I am grateful for some of the materialistic things in life like:A good pair of running shoes and friends to run with:)

This nifty crockpot. We are having Chicken & Rice soup tonight!A digital camera. Unfortunately this one isn't mine. The camera I own is really basic and quite cheap actually but the important thing is that I do in fact own a digital camera. I've been using it today to snap pics of things around the house that I need to sell, posting pics on and bringing in a little cash for Christmas. Wahoo!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Questions for H

I stole this from Tori's blog. It's always fun to find out whats in your little ones head. H is 9 years old... here are his answers.

1. What is something mom always says to you? Uh, that's a hard one. Do your homework before playing with friends.

2. What makes mom happy? when I do my homework

3. What makes mom sad? going to friends without asking

4. How does your mom make you laugh? blows in my face (I did this today when he implied that I had bad breath)

5. What was your mom like as a child? I don't know.

6. How old is your mom? 34

7. How tall is your mom? I would say 6 1/2 feet.

8. What is her favorite thing to do? play on the computer and eat in front of the kids

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? Go to Ogden and get Cafe Rio.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? her job (I work for an OB/Gyn so I'm not so sure its going to get me anywhere!)

11. What is your mom really good at? (we had to come back to this one)- Playing Bejeweled on the computer. (That's right I am the ultimate champion)

12. What is your mom not very good at? solving the Rubiks cube

13. What does your mom do for her job? works on the computer

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Cafe Rio (I had this today... do you see a trend?)

15. What makes you proud of your mom? Voting for John McCain (I love this kid!)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Mickey Mouse-- NO-- Mickey Mouse's wife

17. What do you and your mom do together? Uno and Monopoly

18. How are you and your mom the same? we belong to the same family

19. How are you and your mom different? My moms bigger than me... For now... because she's older.

20. How do you know your mom loves you? This is easy! She makes dinner for me every night and helps me get ready for school.

What I've learned from this: I spend to much time on the computer, I eat too often, games are important and my growing son values a good cooked meal. Also, H knows a good education is important to me ... someday it will be important to him too!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

grateful #4

You may have caught on in my last post that Crew was crying in his bed, trying to get out. Tonight is a much happier tune as I keep hearing peals of laughter and tons of giggles. What a beautiful sound of which I am so grateful!

Monday, November 03, 2008

grateful #3

How thankful I am that I have this handsome guy in my life. Carl is very supportive of me. He is also very complimentary, intelligent, resourceful and hardworking. We live a very comfortable life and I give all the credit to him for the long hours he works well into the night. His work week always exceeds the normal 40 hour work week by 10 or 20 hours.

Also, he is very involved with the boys and they love him. Bedtimes and early mornings always go smoother when he is around/awake. One little boy, Crew, is going through a daddy stage (which I love) and he doesn't do too well without his daddy there. Lucky for you, you can't hear the screaming that I am not-so-effectively blocking out right now. Ah, bedtime once again!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

grateful #2/ Primary teachers

I'm participating in a month of GRATITUDE which the blog South Breeze Farm has started. Our ward's Monthly newsletter contained a story from a talk given by Sister Bonnie B. Parkin where a family was going through a difficult time. They had a hard time not focusing on their challenges. Instead, they turned to a loving Heavenly Father for guidance. Almost immediately the family noticed so much to be grateful for. The mother stated, "The more we expressed our gratitude, the more there was to be grateful for."

This is a powerful talk. I know I've referenced it here before. Openly expressing gratitude is something I need to work on. I feel gratitude daily and try to express it in my prayers but I want to do better at telling/showing those around me that I am truly grateful.

For quite awhile I've felt so blessed that my three boys each have a wonderful Primary/Sunday teacher. Each teacher is able to touch their lives for good and the boys have been receptive. These 3 teachers go beyond the basic preparation as teachers. I am so grateful. When I attempt to teach the boys a gospel principle or scripture during FHE or at other times, I find they've already learned the principle or can recite the scripture story from memory. Their respective teachers are doing a wonderful job. Primary is suppose to be a supplement to the teachings we do in our homes but honestly I'm having a hard time keeping up:)

We are so blessed to have a unique teacher for Crew. Our Bishop feels its important enough for Carl and I to attend our classes and get spiritually fed that he has called one brother to care for Crew during that two hour period. What a blessing! Brother C does an excellent job. Crew loves him. I'm sure the task is far from easy as I know he does spend a lot of time with Crew in the hall. When the Primary kids are singing, I can hear Crew "singing"/screeching along with the best of them.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Productive Day/ grateful #1

Our family participated in the "Run 4 Amber" 5K and 1 Mile. H decided a few minutes before start time to run the 5K with his friends. It was funny because only an hour before he declared that he would only do the Mile if he could walk it and push Crew in the stroller. When I found out H was running, I took off my Garmin and gave it to S. I told him he was on his own. This was the first time I wasn't there to set the pace for him.

H was awesome! He ran his first ever 5K in 31 minutes something with absolutely no training. S did really well running in just over 26 minutes but he was really bummed because he didn't get a PR.

Carl decided to walk the mile with Crew. Whatever!

The community support was unbelievable! I was so happy and grateful that the event was well attended. Grateful to live in a community where people care. Everyone was wearing pink to support Amber in her fight against breast cancer. Amber was able to make it and seeing her and hearing her publicly give thanks was emotional. The run was lots of fun and the auction afterwards was well supported. The race and auction organizers did a nice job!

The weather couldn't have been any nicer today. After the race we came home and worked on home projects. Carl painted some exterior doorways and I climbed onto the roof and hung our Christmas lights (it's my favorite pre-holiday activity). Carl and I always fight over who gets to do it. I don't know that he really loves being up there but I don't think he likes the neighborhood seeing his wife up there alone. Tee hee.

H started basketball today! This is the first year he has wanted to play. He was pretty happy after his first practice and said it was fun. I hope his enthusiasm continues.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My most recent blog posts are becoming few and far between. There are many reasons for this (life is busy). However, the truth is that when I sit down to write I feel as if our day to day happenings are somewhat insignificant. These feelings stem from watching a friend as she battles Inflammatory Breast Cancer. My heart hurts for Amber and I'm sure I am one of many who feels a sense of helplessness. Amber and Dan have been great examples to Carl and I as we've gotten to know them since moving here. Amber, mother of 5, has fought valiantly for the past 18 months. I'm excited to participate in a charity run this Saturday to show support to Amber and her family.

Carl is running the 5K with me this time and S hopes to (he's nursing a sprained ankle). One detail that I haven't ironed out yet... what to do with Crew.

I hope the turn out is significant. Whether you know Amber or not, come run to support the fight against breast cancer. If you're not in the area, you can leave a message to Amber on her blog. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One step back

Something is wrong with Crew's leg. I noticed he was favoring his right leg starting on Sunday. It seems like its getting worse not better. I didn't let him walk or crawl today. We had PT and the therapist confirmed that there is something going on. It looks like he has pain in his hip. He sent me home with some stretching assignments. We are to keep an eye on it over the next couple of days and if it hasn't resolved itself we will have to get a Dr.'s opinion.

Just lost another notch up the ladder... Two steps forward, One step back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Saturday was the 1st Annual A+ family wheat cleaning extravaganza! My dad is the hardest working man I know and generous to boot! This project reminded me of the story of the Little Red Hen except the rest of us did jump in and help with the wheat cleaning. First, grandpa planted and watered the wheat all summer long and harvested it. Gotta love the orange dump truck (Crew was in heaven)!

Also, grandpa spent many hours working on an old wheat cleaner in preparation for the day.

The wheat is dumped from the truck into the cleaner where the chaff is separated. Beautiful clean wheat pours into 5-gallon storage buckets.

Grandpa also provides BIG toys to keep little boys entertained!

From dump truck to storage containers--

Oh, after you fill all storage buckets one might line 55 gallon drums with garbage bags and fill those too!

Isn't this cool!
This is just a small portion of the 6000+ pounds of wheat that we put up. Thanks Grandpa!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Most importantly...

We had a busy fun weekend but I don't have the energy to post about it right now.
Today, I gave my RS lesson on "The Plan of Salvation". I studied it all month long. It's such a deep and broad subject and the sisters in our ward range from young 18-year old singles to the more seasoned grandmothers and such. I worry about how to teach knowing most sisters have more experiences and knowledge than I. I feel that my lack of confidence is actually a blessing because I know how important it is for me to prayerfully prepare and seek the spirit. I felt like the lesson went well and I received many compliments afterward. This calling is great for me because it forces me to study and ponder the gospel teachings in depth.
Here are some quotes from the lesson that I love and have caused me to ponder:

“Satan cannot seduce us by his enticements unless we in our hearts consent and yield. Our organization is such that we can resist the devil; if we were not organized so, we would not be free agents.”
“I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits. …
I am so thankful for the Plan of Salvation. I honestly don't think I could face each day without the knowledge that I can be with my family for eternity and that our bodies will be restored to their perfect state. Truly, its the main thing that keeps me going!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Guest Photographer

I vaguely remember the older boys messing around with my camera while I was preparing dinner the other day. S with his hand against the back of Crew's head and H (camera in hand) on the other side of the glass. I found this little treasure waiting for me when I loaded pics onto my computer. I guess this is what happens when you have older siblings! LOL.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Where is Fall?

Am I the only one that's not excited about this?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

On a Happier Note...

Crew has a new obsession! Building with his Mega Blocks is what he wants first thing in the morning and as soon as he gets home from school. He prefers NOT to play alone so I enlist the help of his brothers, respite worker and/or ME.

In the past few weeks I've noticed an increased ability to not only stack the blocks well BUT he is also using both hands to separate two blocks. He mainly uses his right hand to hold the blocks while he pulls them apart with his left. 90% of the time he uses his LEFTY to stack but on occasion he will use his RIGHT hand. This is good, very very good.

Oh, and in case you haven't guessed it... the BEST part is knocking them down:)


Today when I think of the word "communication" it reminds me of the word "frustration". Did you know the two are related? Apparently they are!

This week has been a hard one. Crew is really struggling to communicate his wants and needs. We've tried everything I can think of. It has been 4 years now and we are NOT making progress. I know its not true (and those of you in my same situation would probably like to hit me over the head with a hammer) but sometimes it feels like we are the ONLY ones in this boat. Today it hit me really hard and I cried like a big baby (which doesn't help anything by the way). Crying just makes you tired, and pity parties don't help either which is why they are far and few between in my world. Learn from my mistakes and just buck it up and SMILE.
I've decided I need to change the focus of my prayers. I've tried everything I can think of and I don't think I'm going to get anywhere in this endeavor without my Heavenly Fathers help.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Immunization Records

The preschool threatened that Crew would "be excluded from attending" if I did not provide adequate immunization records. The form letter states that he is missing his 4th dose of Pneumoccocal (PCV7). What??? I have always taken my children in for their scheduled shots.

Last night I took Crew to the pediatrician for said shot. After looking over his records it appeared that we missed the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of a FOUR shot series. I did not think this was right and figured his records must have been incomplete since we moved when he was nearly 6 months old. Unfortunately, I have been missing his little Immunization Record book for so long I started thinking we never had one. The Dr. did not think it was a good idea to get the shot and so we went home.

Today I had a plan to sort through three different drawers in an effort to locate the book. Before looking, I felt prompted to rearrange/clean my computer work area. What do you know...TADAH

I found the book!

I am so happy about this, happy that Crew doesn't need anymore shots and happy to provide "adequate records". Thank you very much!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Random Thoughts

It seems the longer I go without posting, the harder it is to recap the day/weekend.
  • Conference weekend was great! I didn't do a good job of taking notes but I did try to listen to all 8 hours. I really enjoyed the spirit of the meetings and I'm excited to see the Conference podcasts already sitting in my inbox. yeah!

  • My Mizunos have over 350 miles on them and I started getting pains so I broke down and bought a new pair of running shoes. SAUCONY this time! Unfortunately, after only 6 miles I've already got blisters. I don't remember getting blisters with the Mizuno's... not even when they were new. I've decided to take advantage of their 15 day return policy and swap them out for a different shoe.

  • My friend Erica is faced with the decision of whether or not her adorable son should get a Baclofen Pump and if so when? This is something that we have considered for Crew. I'm amazed at the daily "Google" hits that bring people to my blog when they are searching for information about the pump. There are many pro's and con's to consider. Crew is taking Baclofen orally and this helps him but also causes him to drool and makes him weak in other areas. We don't know if the oral Baclofen or his spasticity contributes to his inability to speak. Placing the pump is a little frightening but what scares me the most is the 10% chance of having a kinked catheter. This could cause withdrawal symptoms and during the stage when they experiment with dosages there is a possibility of overdose. The biggie though is that the pump is the size of a hockey puck. I've seen the pump and I'll tell you right now that Crew's little tummy doesn't have anything to it. He is skin and bones. Ah, decisions!

  • My new job. I'm in training for a new position at the Dr.'s office where I've worked for the past year. I'm looking forward to something different but for the next little while my head will be spinning.
Well that was pretty random, wasn't it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

5K Report

I do have the intention of eventually starting a separate blog to document my running adventures. But, until then just a quick post to report:

S and I ran the Wellsville "Hotter than Haiti" 5 K Fun Run last Saturday. The run was held to raise funds for an orphanage in Haiti. I was surprised at how many little Haitian children were there who have been adopted by families in our area. It was really neat!

The weather was perfect.
The course was quite fun with a couple small hills.
We both set a new PR.
S- 25:36
Mel- 25:37

Oh, and S walked away with a football prize from the raffle drawing. Woot!
Next race: Red Ribbon Run- October 11th.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Milestones to Achieve

Like I said in a previous post, Crew learned to sit up in bed. Thanks for the many comments, cheers, praise, and rejoicing with us in this accomplishment! Twenty-Six comments is an all time high for me and it does help knowing we have our own little cheering squad.

As anticipated, his new skill has led to another.

This is good... very very good! Unfortunately, we aren't getting a whole lot of sleep around here and nap times are far and few between.

* Note: Positions pictured are exactly as occurred but just to save my pride- No, I don't dress my child in the same outfit everyday and he doesn't wear jeans to bed for the night.

On another note, today I went with Crew and his Preschool class on a little field trip to a local "Hobby Farm". I volunteered to bring his wheelchair as they would be walking a few blocks. I anticipated having a wonderful time with my son. There would be chickens to see, horses, ostriches, emu's, tortoises, turtles. I even stopped to purchase batteries for my camera for the great event. What I didn't anticipate was the drama my little one would put on "just because mom was there". You know the one, "Let me show you all how I've got my mom wrapped around my little finger". So embarrassing! I even told the teacher that I wish I hadn't gone because I know he is fine without me. In his little class there is an adorable little girl who also has CP. I met McKenna at a GYM class over two years ago before Crew could even crawl. McKenna, a 1 lb preemie was then learning to crawl and pull-to-stand. Today I saw her RUN without the use of a walker or DAFO's for that matter. Part of me was thrilled to see her progress and her cuteness. McKenna is an example of all that can be achieved. But then... it was just a LITTLE disheartening to think of how far we still have to go.

Yes, discouragement is a part of our world but I do try not to let it take over. In your everyday lives, do you suffer from discouragement, self-criticism, or the awful trait of comparing yourself to others? Sometimes it can be so debilitating! I really detest the feelings of discouragement.

How thankful I am today to come home and read this post by one of my favorite bloggers. I agree wholeheartedly with Lori that each one of us is blessed with different talents, experiences, opportunities. We cannot compare what we are going through with that which we "see" of others. I don't think we can ever guess what challenges another might face or experience. Lori, also talks about BALANCE. This is something I am getting better at. There was a time in my life as a mother where I DID NOT invest energy and time for me. How invigorating it is to finally have something that I enjoy (exercise)! I will keep reminding myself that its okay to indulge in this passion without guilt and it will make me a better wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend. Yes, it's okay!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sweet September

S and I went running today at 4:00 pm. I am not use to running in the middle of the day but we had an opportunity- and we went. It was a good, hard run. Part way through, S got really tired so I dropped him off at the van and continued on for another 1.5 miles. I passed the bank and their digital sign said it was 86 degrees! My mouth has never felt so dry on a run and I felt like choking. By the time I got back to the van I was dead. I grabbed my water bottle and sucked it dry then S wanted a cheeseburger. *giggle* Good times!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another First

Crew has never been able to sit up in his bed which means he lays there until I pick him up. Four years is a long time to work on one skill and he has been working very hard. Today was very exciting when I opened his door to find him like this. It is hard to see from the picture but he is kneeling. I'm a proud momma today!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Weekend Happenings

It's been years (like 15) since I've hiked to the Wind Caves in Logan Canyon. Saturday, we decided to take the older boys and find the caves. The hike was great. It took us about 50 minutes to get up the 1.8 mile trail where we climbed approximately 1000 feet. Ouch! The view from the top was magnificent. We had a late start on Saturday morning and so it was mid-day when we finally made it to the top. We were happy to find out there was a nice breeze in the caves which makes sense since the caves were formed from wind and water. The trek down the trail went much faster but sure did beat up my knees. On the way down we passed a gentleman with a prosthetic leg. That sure did stop the silent complaints in my head. What an inspiration!

Later, we met up with Ken and Kristen where they took us for a refreshing boat ride on Hyrum Reservoir. Crew is all about the boat ride! Wow, I think that kid would be content living on the water! Unfortunately, I don't believe he will get another chance for a boat ride until next summer.

Also, on Saturday we cooked up a fine Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler in our backyard fire pit. We were exhausted at that point! I'm not sure why we decided to cram so many activities into one day but the cobbler was delicious... it was definitely worth it in the end. I can't wait to try some new recipes.

Finally, Sunday morning I was surprised when the Bishop released me from my 3-year Cub Scout calling.... which I've loved. Instead, I was called as a Relief Society teacher. Yikes! Talk about yanking someone out of their comfort zone:) My first lesson is this Sunday and I am waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyy nervous!

I'm loving the weather here. Today I walk/ran a total of 11 miles. Isn't it great!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Capture The Moment

It's been a month since Crew's surgeries and I can honestly say we have our silly little boy back! We have been enjoying his smiles and giggles and just simply "living in the moment" with him. I feel blessed to have him in my life because he teaches me so much everyday.
The afternoon before his surgery, his Big Boy Tricycle arrived! Yeah! I love it that Crew has a chance to just be a kid and I've realized that "the bike" has become his favorite activity.
Crew started preschool a few weeks ago. The communication with his new teacher is lacking so far but hope to improve on that soon. We did not receive his back-and-forth book the last two days so I have no idea how he is doing. I did write her a note last week asking how it was going and she stated that because they are still trying to figure out which chair to use and because he "eats slow" and gets pulled out for OT he hasn't had much opportunity to interact with the other children. Okay, I am trying to be patient here but isn't that what preschool is all about? I don't want to end this post on a negative note... that is not my intention. I'm sure the teacher has a lot to deal with these first few weeks of school so I am giving her the benefit of the doubt. BUT, I just want my child to fit in and be happy which shouldn't be too hard. Just look at his killer smile!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Eye Surgery Follow-up

It's a good thing we like our doctor because waiting 4 hours for anything is insanely ridiculous. This sign makes me giggle every time I see it. I think they should add "sleeping bag" and "cooler stocked with goodies" to the items to bring list.

We will wait in the hall, thank you very much! Crew is extremely frustrated by the fact that the toys in the waiting room aren't exactly "accessible" when you factor in the other 30 kids waiting to see the doctor. I've learned to steer clear of the waiting room because if the toys are out of sight it's easier for me to keep him happy. Instead, I dance and perform circus tricks for hours on end in the hall. He's not exactly thrilled.... Hmmm. Maybe I need to learn a few more tricks.

Do they really expect 100's of children per day to wait for that long and not turn into monkeys?

Yessss... Happy boy with straight eyes. Thank you Dr. H, the surgery was a success!