Sunday, September 30, 2012

Father-Son night

Thomas has been working a ton lately. He has been putting in 60+ hours each week for the past month and has worked every weekend. When Thomas is home he is taking care of me, paying bills, cleaning the house, organizing the schedule, fixing the computer or whatever else has broken, doing visits with the Elders Quorum, preparing lessons, getting my medicine, rubbing my feet and helping Hayden with homework.

Hayden has missed his dad and the fun times... the wrestling, the tickling, lego building, DS playing, Wii competition fun Dad time. Thomas worked late Friday night and had to work all day Sunday. Hayden announced that he wanted time with his dad. Luckily, it was the Relief Society General Conference Meeting and so Suzi and Jodi came and stayed with me and the boys went out to play.

Hayden chose the activities... they saw Paranorman at Harkins San Tan and went to Johnny Rockets for dinner where Thomas let Hayden put quarters in the jukebox and they sang and talked and ate fries, hamburgers and chocolate shakes. Thomas was great and loved being able to just spend time with his boy.

I love how much these two enjoy spending time together. Hayden absolutely idolizes his dad and lives for the moment he walks thru the door from work. Thomas promised Hayden that they would schedule one Saturday night a month to go out for a guys night and one night a week of one on one dad time at home just talking. Thomas is also going to start holding Personal Priesthood Interviews with Hayden once a month so he gets used to them before his teenage years. We want to do all we can to keep the lines of communication open with Hayden and let him know that he can come to us with anything and we will really listen and help him sort through his problems.

I love this boy and I love that he knows how to get what he wants. I also love that his love language is time and attention. He would take time playing games, cuddling, doing something together over a money gift any day. He sure is easy to please. Love him to pieces.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hayden's new BFF

Life is changing at our house. I struggled long and hard about whether or not to switch Hayden schools. I maybe was unsure but my answer was clear and unmistakable that Hayden NEEDED to be at Cambridge. Meet the incredible reason Hayden needed to switch schools..... Jackson.

I love that a lot of days that Jackson beats Hayden home from school and gives me the run down before Hayden gets home. Poor Hayden, whoever is picking him up usually picks up Hayden and then swings by QT to get me a diet coke. (Have a mentioned how loved I am by my incredible support team).

For the next solid two hours, I hear laughter and chatter and an occasional "hi" as they make their way from the game room to the trampoline. Jackson has brought so much joy to our lives. I love that he finds me before he leaves and every day tells me that he hopes I feel better. I love that Hayden looks forward to going to school. I love that Hayden has a friend that lives so close. Most of all, I love that Hayden has found such an incredible friend, that is such a great boy, great family, incredible mom, and that he and Hayden are friends. If I could have created a best friend for Hayden, Jackson has all the qualities that I would have picked. Now how did we go so long without realizing he was in our neighborhood?

Friday, September 28, 2012

Anniversary #12

On September 28, 2012 was Thomas and mine 12th anniversary. Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday that I met and married this incredible man and in others it feels like we have been together an eternity. I cannot imagine my life without him, that is for sure.

Thomas is an amazing husband. He loves me, he cherishes me, he serves me, he makes me laugh, he takes care of me, he does little things to make me happy, he wants to be with me, he is my best friend and my eternal companion.

I could not made it the past year without him. He has sat with me at doctors appointments, anxiously awaiting the latest news, the most recent test results, comforted me in pain, rubbed my feet, my back, my head and anywhere else that hurt, hugged me, comforted me and laid his hands on my head and administered priesthood blessings.

He loves the Savior and puts him first in his life, then me and then Hayden. After the three of us comes our extended family, church callings, friends, work, loved ones, friends and all the other responsibilities. Thomas realizes that the Spirit can only dwell where there is no contention and he refuses to fight. He holds me, apologizes and tries to be the man I want him to. It is me that has work to do. He is so good at just loving and seeing the good in everyone.

Thomas makes me laugh like no other and helps me to enjoy life. I find myself counting down the minutes until he gets home. I feel safe when he is here. I know that he will make everything okay or at least hold my hand while we face it together.

I love the man he is today, not just the one he will be in the future. Each and every year I am in awe of all the ways that he still sweeps me off my feet, does more wonderful little things to surprise me and continues to inspire me and he continues to become even better.

This year, he made me this incredible ring and brought home an all white bouquet of roses, the same that was at our wedding. He is romantic. He is kind. He is a great father. He knows how to serve me and love me in the ways I need to be loved.

The best decision I ever made was saying yes to this incredible man. I love you, Thomas! Now and forever. I am so grateful you are mine!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rex and Zee

Our great friends, Sarah and Jordan have had these two little boys in their home for over the past year. There were court cases on both boys this week, as they were trying to adopt both.

On Wednesday, they found out that the severance case with Zee's mom was not going to happen and the biological grandmother was going to go ahead and step in after Zee had lived with our friends for over the past year. When they got this little guy, he was 8 months old, had already survived surgery and nine broken bones. Oh how the Arizona court system frustrates me. How can a judge consider all those breaks accidental and after him being with a stable family for almost 14 months put him back in that abusive environment. My heart breaks for my friends and sweet little Zee that we have loved for over a year. We are devastated!

Rex also had a court hearing this past week. Rex's day ended in him being officially adopted! Rex wanted to come celebrate with cupcakes and visit Aunt Jer (I know he cannot talk... it doesn't matter.... we all knew who he wanted to celebrate with) Isn't he so cute that every time I pull out the camera that Rex waves to me. Cannot express the love I have for this little guy.

What a week... it isn't often that a week contains so much emotion. I pray that my friends will be okay. They are such an inspiration to me. Sarah has such peace comforting her soul. She may not understand but trusts the peace she feels and knows that it comes from the Savior.

Such sweet boys... such sweet spirits.... I've looked at them both and couldn't help but to hold Zee and ache for the life he is headed to while holding Rex and celebrating his new life full of hope.

It is in these moments that I try to turn my questions over to the Savior and pray that he will bless and protect Zee and keep him safe. And, at the same time, thank Him for the gift of Rex in our lives!

Oobleck Slime Goo: Are You Gellin'

This science fair project was one of the funnest ones we have done. Hayden loved creating the different slime, oobleck and goo recipes and then tweaking them, he came up with his own goo or slime creation. Boy does this kid have a scientific mind. He was so dead spot on when coming up with the hypothesis and creating a new recipe. I love the way he made sure that we had it all together. I also love that Hayden was so particular on all the supplies that were utilized on his board. I believe he knocked this one out of the park... way to go, Hayden!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Treatment #3

Wednesday was my third treatment at Mayo Clinic. After my amazing experience on Tuesday night while blogging, I was able to sleep. Early in the morning I was awoken to a feeling of being held down, as if someone was wrestling with my soul. As hard as I tried to fight it, it felt as if this overwhelming force was trying to take me over. Thomas said I yelled out trying to stop from being taken over. Fearful because I was so on edge, Thomas gave me a priesthood blessing.

The blessing was inspirational and so uplifting. The words spoken were cherished and so loving. The words spoken were powerful and direct. I was promised that the advesary would depart and have no power over me. As I went through these treatments, I would be held and protected by the Savior. I was told that the peaceful and comforting feelings were from my Father in Heaven. The feelings of fear and torment were not from my Father in Heaven.

My body relaxed. My spirit felt peace. My breathing began to return to a steady rhythm. My heart was calm.

I knew a miracle had occurred. I knew my Father in Heaven stepped in and protected me. I am not sure what all is taking place. This trial. This experience. This long and drawn out process is beyond my understanding. I feel it is bigger than I realize. It is effecting so many lives, yet I am not sure I understand completely.

I know my Father in Heaven is sparing my life. I know and have experienced so many miracles. I know a lot of people are watching and seeing the miracles of a kind Heavenly Father. Yet, who am I to receive such blessings when so many others could do such a better job? Why is The Lord continuing to spare my life? Who am I that I deserve such incredible miracles?

I've come to believe that The Lord is allowing me to have these miraculous experiences not only for me but do that His amazing and miraculous works can be shown. I testify that miracles exist and are alive today. I am alive out of the grace and goodness of my Father in Heaven.

As I sat back after my amazing experience with my priesthood blessing, I realized that as hard as this is, my Savior is with me. For whatever purpose this trial I am going through, it will have outcomes for people that the adversary is scared of. The adversary wants me to give up. He wants me to fail. Luckily for me, I know where to turn. I know who will win. I know to stand strong on the Lord's side. He will guide me, protect me and spare my life.

Hayden, mommy needs you to know that no matter what happens in life, you must always trust your Savior. You may not always understand the reasons you are asked to do things. You may not be able to see more than a foot in front of you, at times. You may feel that you are asked to walk a hard road that does not make sense. What I promise you, as your mother, that loves you more than anything is if the Savior asks you to walk a path, He will walk it with you. He will give you the necessary skills, abilities, strength and stamina to do His work. All He needs is your complete heart and willingness to follow Him. He will guide you and do the rest. I promise that although you may not understand the whys or how's. If you do as the Savior asks, you WILL be blessed.

As I walked into the hospital to start the treatment, my Savior, my protector, my guardian and my friend stood at my side. He walked with me, just as He has promised to walk with each of us, when we are willing to walk the path He has asked of us.

The road is not always easy. It will push you to your limits and require you to stretch far beyond you'd abilities. It will feel at times that you cannot walk another step or take another breath. Those are the moments that if you push through that you will feel your Savior with you, adding strength unto you, easing your burdens and carrying you when you no longer can take another step. It is in those moments that heaven touches earth. Your Savior will take you in his arms, hold you and in that moment, nothing else matters. It is all worth it.

This will not be the end of your journey, but at that moment, you are changed forever. You know that you can do whatever the Savior requires.

I love you, Hayden! Always remember your mom loves you. I love you Dad! He's a great man. He honors his priesthood. He loves the Savior. He adores you!!!! I know my Savior lives and loves me. Of this I testify He lives!!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Treatments

In a couple of hours I check back into Mayo Clinic to resume treatments. I am a little more apprehensive this time. I know what I am in for tomorrow. I sit here downing as much water as possible. I will be up all night in the bathroom, but I am hoping that the nurses can find a vein to use on the first shot, not the third or forth try and definitely I do NOT want them using the deep vein ultrasound to put in the IV.

I am apprehensive about the medication going in. The last two times were so difficult. I know the Lord protected me, blessed me and pulled me through the complications that the last treatments brought on. But, I don't know how my body will respond to starting the treatments back up in the morning.

The last time I rode the elevator to the 7th floor, I didn't know what to expect, what was in store. The unknown was unsettling. As I sit here tonight, I am very aware that the last treatment came within an inch of taking my life. I am also keenly aware that the Savior pulled me through both physically and mentally. He held me when I could no longer cope, sleep came on when I could no longer deal with the pain and a sweet peace filled my soul when I felt too overwhelmed to fight.

I know I do not have the ability to walk this path alone. Fortunately, I do not have to. I know that the Savior will be there with me tomorrow as I make the long walk to my treatment room. I know that my Father in Heaven will send the Holy Ghost to bring peace and comfort to my soul. I will be blessed to have my amazing sister sitting next to me, encouraging me, telling me to fight and helping me to laugh at something one of the kids did to get my mind off the treatments. I will get sweet messages all day from my loving and kind husband, encouraging and supporting and loving me through this. He will also give me a Priesthood Blessing before I walk out the door in the morning. Blessings always bring me such peace and reassurance that I am in the Lord's hands. I am His. He knows me. He loves me. He will walk this road with me.

As I wrote that last paragraph, an overwhelming sense of peace, comfort and love overcame me. I was blessed with the knowledge and reassurance that I will be okay. The Lord will go before me and be with me as I endure these treatments. As I felt that peace a scripture from the Book of Mormon popped into my mind: Nephi 3:7 I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which was given them.

I know that my Savior, my Lord and my friend will hold me close as I walk the road set before me. What a overwhelming peace and reassurance to be blessed with. I love my Savior. I know that He can and will help me through this. All of a sudden, the fear has been lifted. I feel at peace. I even believe I will be able to sleep. Goodnight.

Science Project

Hayden's 5th Grade Science Project for the Science Fair has begun. We were trying to get a jump on it... extra credit for turning it in early. Easy points so we are trying to get it done. I gave Hayden an entire list of different ideas for his project but he was insistent on the one he came up with.... developing a new recipe combining Oobleck, Slime, Gak and Goo to make the perfect consistency of goo.

His science project is officially titled:
Oobleck, Slime and Goo: Are You Gellin'?

We had to try so many different "recipes" and get creative. Hayden came up with a list of needed materials and talked his Dad into going to the store to find all of these items. Hayden made the list and boy do we have a lot of extras of some items. I think that was on purpose since he LOVES science. I think we will end up making the "perfect slime" recipe for his entire class for the day of his presentation.
Hayden was all smiles as we started combining ingredients. Not only is he a scientist at heart, I really believe he is a chemist. He loves combining ingredients whether it is food science, slimes, polymers or anything that he can combine and get a reaction.
We definitely improved upon the recipe as we went on. Having 1/2 cup of water as the constant made things interesting. I want to save some of the recipes because I think we made the perfect brain for Halloween. Orange, goopy, slimey, and it solidified in chunks.
We had much better success when we mixed the water and glue BEFORE adding the cornstarch, baking soda and Borax mixtures. Hayden loved the consistency of this slime. Lots of fun and it hardened when it sat but would turn to liquid in your hands. Cool stuff.
But, our home run was when we attempted "radioactive slime". Absolutely, positively the best consistency of slime, the best color of slime, the best and easiest to follow recipe of slime and the best... it glows in the dark. Yep, he thought I was a pretty cool mom for thinking of some of his project.
He is definitely wanting to play with it here and when he made his "perfect, can't get any better than it already is slime", there was no more trying. Quoting Hayden, "Why mess with perfection?" To him, there has never been a more perfect goo. He has officially validated and promoted himself from scientist to chemist.
In the end, we had all different consistencies, different stages of solidification and different recipes. In Hayden's eyes, the rest were just steps to creating the perfect goo. He is so proud of himself!
Now the work begins... charting, graphing, analyzing data, comparing the hypothesis, typing up results, printing pictures and then creating a master science tri-fold poster. I am hoping the momentum stays and we can complete the entire project while he is still excited about it.

I do love having a scientist...oops a chemist in my home. It sure makes for some creative messes disguised as experiments. Can I post a sign that says, "Excuse the mess... scientist in the making"?

Mess or no mess... I wouldn't trade tonight's experiment for the world. I love watching his brain turn and solve problems. How lucky am I to have such a scientifically minded son. Love him!


Suzi took Hayden, Brooklyn and Brigham to Sunsplash on Saturday as a end of the Summer hoorah. I laughed as I received this picture from Suzi. She said she asked each of them to stop and take their picture. Brooklyn rolled her eyes, Brigham did a dance and Hayden did the dead zombie pose. Oh kids.
Love this picture of Brigham and Hayden. Hayden is getting so much better with his younger cousins. He has set a goal to be a good example and to take care of them.
I love that Brooklyn is holding on to Brigham and Hayden's inner tubes. She definitely is a mother hen and tries hard to take care of the boys. Love her and her little nurturing qualities.
My Bugwa. What can I say? This is Hayden in his element. Floating peacefully in the water, alone with his thoughts, the movement of the water carrying him around the lazy river and the occasional splash of water on his face. Seriously, I think that in Hayden's mansion in heaven there will definitely be a lazy river for him to float and think in.
I am so appreciative that Hayden has such a great Aunt Suzi that is so much fun! How lucky are these kids that they get to go to Sunsplash on a whim. Suzi is constantly doing fun activities with the kids. She is such a fun aunt!

Showered with Love

I cannot express the love that has been shown to our family. The acts of kindness, service and love go beyond what I could have ever imagined. I wish I would have taken more pictures of the gifts brought over. The ward has brought in delicious and comforting meals three times a week. Julie, Joyce and Suzi have continued to fill in when we haven't had meals or left overs bringing in great food. I cannot count the endless number of diet cokes that have been brought in by so so many. In fact, the rule is that anyone coming over must have a 32 oz diet coke in hand.

Heather and Lindsay are my dear sweet cousins that I adore. Heather brought all 5 kids over while Lindsay was working to decorate my door. They all made these cute decorated hearts. (Over a week later and the hearts remain on the door. I cannot take them down. I love them.)
Their sweet kids all made me cute pictures, brought me beautiful purple flowers and my beloved caramello candy bars. What love. What service. What kindness. I was so deeply touched.
Jodi's visiting teacher stopped by her house with this gorgeous gift basket. She told Jodi that she thought of what she could get her but said that if her sister was sick, she would want someone to do something nice for her sister. Amazingly, these were some of my favorite things and I have never met this sweet lady. A soft fuzzy blanket to curl up in and it is so cuddly and soft. Organic assortment of soups and aromatherapy bath lotion. She also brought Jodi a candle and chocolates. What an act of service and love.

Speaking of Jodi's ward, they have brought her in some meals and been such a great help in watching Jodi's kids so she can be with me. I am so grateful for all the amazing friends Jodi has and all the people willing to serve her, so she can serve me.

Also, Jodi's kids drew adorable cards. And, Talmage brought me a smiley face balloon with mnm's that he is so proud of. Love that boy. I don't have a picture but I am in love with the Frog Togg that Jodi brought me. It keeps me nice and cool.
My Dad and Bonnie sent this gorgeous bouquet of flowers that I have loved looking at.
Ann deeply touched my heart when I woke up one morning to hearts all over my yard with different qualities and ways I have touched her life. Very touching. Very thoughtful. Perfect. I felt so loved.
One of my bestest friends brought over a case of diet cokes, flowers and chocolate for me to survive my treatments. Along with hauling her husband over, without being asked, just knowing and sensing that I really needed a priesthood blessing.
There have been so many, many, many more acts of love and service and kindness. Loaves of homemade bread dropped off, lots of goodies, homemade cards, meals, casseroles to heat up as needed, chocolate, diet cokes, hugs, cards, articles to read, testimonies shared, uplifting messages given and more than I can ever have imagined. The hugs, the phone calls, the texts, the messages on facebook and all of the prayers will never be forgotten.

Thank you from the bottom of heart all of you that have selflessly sacrificed for me and my family. Your love and generosity is so appreciated. The outreach has been nothing less than miraculous. I have felt so much love, so much Christlike service and so much joy. I really do have the best family and friends and ward members. The Lord has blessed me with an incredible support system to help me walk this trial. I am in awe. Thank you!

Trials and blessings

I have been blessed to experience so many miracles in the past couple weeks of my life. I have seen the Lord's hand guiding and blessing me. I have felt His healing powers that come through priesthood blessings, prayers and fasting. I have been blessed to feel the arms of my loving Heavenly Father holding me and carrying me through this difficult illness.

It has been a long couple of weeks. On Tuesday, Sept. 4th, the Mayo doctors called to check on me and see how I was doing. When I relayed the weekend and all I had been through (spiking headaches, vision loss, deep sleeping for 14 hours plus at a time, severe pain, hallucinations, nausea, weakness, exhaustion, swelling and pressure) the neurologist absolutely flipped out. She was a wreck and told me that they were sending an ambulance to put me in ICU. I told her that I was doing a little better. After consulting with the head neurologist in charge of my case, she called back and asked what I had done. I explained that everyone fasted for me and prayed. Her response was, "You Prayed? That's all?"

After she calmed down some, she explained that the meningitis had turned into encephalitis. The vision loss should have been permanent. I had slipped into a subtle coma and should have died.

I was a mess as the day unfolded, doctors calling, treatment options being discussed, ICU as a real possibility and fear of the unknown set in. I called my sweet husband who went out to his car and offered a prayer of peace. As he prayed, I felt the Holy Ghost wrap me in His love. It felt like a blanket was being wrapped around me and I was protected from the world. I felt the Savior gently remind me that He was in charge of the outcome, not the doctors. As long as it was His will that I live, I will. I relaxed as a deep peace encircled my entire body.

Jodi sat with me while the events of the day played out. I appreciated so much her continued sacrifice of her time, for me. She has put her life on hold to help me. Words cannot express my gratitude.

Anyways, the doctors determined that whatever was happening, my body was fighting the illness. My body was trying to heal. That in and of itself was fantastic news because it was unknown if my body would be able to heal.

Since that moment, my body has had ups and downs. The meningitis and encephalitis continued to hold on for almost two more weeks. The pain would worsen and I would have tender mercies of relief when I could no longer handle the pain. The Lord in His mercy blessed me with sleep. I sleep a lot. In fact, I sleep way more than I am awake, with some days only being awake 4 hours all day.

The road has been long. I have not walked it alone. My Savior has been so close continuously sending me people to help to lift me up. I have had so many people that have sacrificed and showed so much love to me and my family. I have been blessed to feel the Spirit's comfort when I no longer feel I can walk this road. I have been uplifted by so many bringing sweet gifts, loving meals, delicious treats, flowers, cards of encouragement, taking Hayden on adventures, massages, uplifting texts and most importantly prayers from so so many.

I resume treatments tomorrow. I am hopeful that my body accepts the treatments with ease and not many complications. The doctors will try to minimize the side effects. I am relying on my Father in Heaven and trusting that regardless of what happens, how much pain I must endure or how sick my body gets, that He will again pull me through this and any other trials that are placed in my path.

My testimony has grown so much during this illness. I have learned and been reassured that the Father knows me personally. He knows me and what I need better than I know myself. He loves me. He sends me what I need, whether people, blessings, tender mercies or treatments, exactly when I most need them. I have learned to rely on Him so deeply. I trust Him. I know that He will not leave me.

Many people have asked if I would have known what this last year would have entailed, would have I endured it or given up. I am grateful I didn't know what was ahead of me. I would have never thought I would have been strong enough to handle it. I wouldn't want to go through the pain and unknowing again, but I am so so so grateful for what I have gained. I am grateful for where I am today. I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father that gave me what I needed. I wouldn't trade what I have learned for anything. I am so grateful for my relationship with my Father in Heaven and my Savior. I have come to really know them and truly love them. I understand much more clearly the love they have for me. The relationship I have with each of them is priceless to me. Thomas and I have grown closer together. Hayden has gained a testimony of his Savior and how the priesthood works and that the Lord knows him. I have realized that I have so many people on this earth, and those that have gone on before that love me. These are priceless and treasured gifts.

Would I go through it again? To get where I am today.... yes. I would endure all the pain, all the fear, all the uncertainty, all the treatments and testing to feel the arms of my Savior wrap around me, to feel my Father in Heaven's love, to experience the tender mercies sent just for me and feel so loved by so many. Absolutely. For through this trial and heartache, I have come to know firsthand the joy that my Savior can and does bring. I know He loves me, Jerlyn Murphy. He loves the person I am today, not just the person I have the potential of becoming. That is an absolutely priceless gift and one that I would be willing to sacrifice a lot for.

Maybe it isn't finding the blessing in the trial..... maybe the trial IS the blessing.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Family Fun Night

We love having Jodi's kiddos over. They are more like brothers and sister to Hayden than cousins. I am so thankful that he has them. They are all starting to fight less and get along more which is fantastic. Hayden is getting used to having "siblings" around a lot and is loving the interaction and is adjusting to compromising and sharing.
I love that Talmage ran to Thomas as soon as he got on the trampoline. He loves Uncle Thomas.
Thomas loves seeing how high he can bounce the kids in the air. I love this shot of Hayden being bounced.
What family night would be complete without ice cream. These two boys are so incredibly goofy together. Always making faces and weird poses.
I love love love that Brooklyn and Hayden are starting to be really close. They play so well together and really are developing a great friendship. Nothing could make me happier. I want so badly for Hayden to have a great relationship with his cousins so that he has the opportunity of having pseudo siblings.
I love these kiddos. I love them cuddling on the couch next to me. I love the smiles, the laughter, the goofiness and even the arguing because it means I have a house full of kids.
Little TT is sure becoming my bud. He loves me and always asks to go to Aunt Jer's house. How great is it that I get Jodi's kids to spoil and love and share. I feel so blessed that I have one son and 1/2 of 3 others. These kids all hold a very special place in my heart.
FYI - Family Home Evening did take place. The lesson was on how important cousins are and that they are extension of our own family. That some of our best friends in heaven came down as our siblings and cousins and we needed to treat each other as such. Hayden and Brooklyn LOVED the thought that they were friends in heaven and needed to help each other return home. Have I mentioned how very much I love them?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Random happenings

Most activities at our house take place in the family room. I can sit on the couch and still feel apart of the activities going on. Love when I can feel apart of it.

Suzi playing games with the big kids while Thomas looks for the next movie to put on for Talmage.
Hayden and Thomas play the I-Pad together on the weekends. We all love to play some of the games together. Hayden sitting in the middle of me and Thomas on the couch and figuring out the puzzles together. We also like to take turns reading books. We are currently reading A Swiftly Tilting Planet to follow up A Wrinkle in Time. Our scripture study takes place about 1/2 of the time on the couch and the other 1/2 on our bed. We have also enjoyed watching America's Got Talent, Secret Millionaire, the Voice and X Factor as a family. I especially love it when my boys give me foot rubs while we watch our shows.
Our family would not be the Murphy family without wrestling and pillow fights and tickling and playing with Dad and Uncle Thomas. If Thomas sits on the ground, he is immediately bombarded by Hayden, Brooklyn, Brigham and Talmage and any other nieces and nephews or Hayden's friends that are over. Thomas loves playing with the kids and is such an amazing Dad and Uncle.
Jodi and Brooklyn entertained themselves while Talmage and I took naps one day. I woke up to them playing games. Can I express how incredible that Jodi is to completely turn her life upside down to take care of me during the day?
Talmage and I look like this every afternoon. We take our daily naps. On Saturday, we both slept for 3.5 hours on the couch.
This little boy keeps me company while all the rest of the kiddos are at school. He always begs to go get Jer a diet coke. He is hoping with going to QT that he will come home with a chocolate donut. When he comes in the morning he asks if there is a donut waiting for him. If I say no, he says, "Oh, did Uncle Thomas forget?" He certainly has a sweet tooth. I have enjoyed watching Mickey Mouse Club and tons of Disney movies with this my little buddy.
Hayden's skill at creating lego creations is amazing. He can sit down and within a hour or less complete some masterpiece. He also excels at the lego kits and can put a complex lego kit together in record time. I am in awe at how long he can sit and play legos.
As I mentioned, most of our activities and fun consists of games, movies and things that can be done in the family room. We sure have gotten creative and have all kinds of wonderful adventures and made so many cherished memories in there. I will always cherish these moments of normalcy and family bonding even in the middle of my health chaos. We are definitely enjoying and loving life.

Hayden the Artist

We have a new and upcoming artist in the family. Hayden painted this masterpiece by just sitting down and creating. He absolutely was THRILLED when he came home from school and it was framed and sitting on the piano in the family room.
So impressed with you Bubba!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Foot Baths

I spend a lot of time at Dr. Shiflet's office sitting in a foot bath. This ionic foot bath is pulling the toxins, heavy metals and infections out of my body. It is similar to an IV and although I do not understand all the hows and whys behind it, this is what I do know.... it is keeping me off of kidney dialysis, it is dumping my kidneys and liver for me so my body doesn't have to, it is pulling the infection out of my body and it is helping my body to get rid of the fighter cells.

I should have taken an after shot. It is gross and all black and green and brown. Nasty. But, better in the water than in my body. It is a 40 minute process, three times a week. Needless to say, I have become very good friends with all the girls that work there and especially Dr. Shiflet. I honestly believe that my Father in Heaven led me to Dr. Shiflet to keep me alive while the doctors were sorting through this health mess. I have so much respect and adoration for all the the Shiflet's have done for me. They are incredible people with incredible hearts and incredible healing capabilities.

I am guessing that I will continue spending a ton of time sitting in my foot baths. I am just so grateful that something is helping me to feel better.

Room Makeover Surprise

My room was needing a new makeover. I have absolutely lived in it the past year and was so tired of the darkness of the bedroom. I really wanted to lighten it up. Thomas surprised me with the comforter set when I came home from my first immune treatment. Since then, I have picked up some turquoise accessories to go with it. I absolutely LOVE it! It is so comforting and relaxing to walk into. I love the new view.
I love the bright yellow and turquoise with the grey. Jake had a lift built so that I am propped up in bed and can lay somewhere other than in the recliner. Such a nice change.
Suzi was no longer using this chair, so she let me borrow it. I love sitting in it and just relaxing. It is so comfy. The blanket is the one that Jodi's visiting teacher brought over. So, so sweet.
The beautiful flowers from Toni and Ann were the inspiration behind adding the turquoise and I love it. I love how it looks in our room. And, Suzi brought over the new TV to replace our 15 year old boat anchor. Am I spoiled or what?
I love, love, love my new room with all the new color. The pictures from my phone do not do it justice but it warms my heart each and every time I walk in my new room. I feel such peace, such comfort and so very loved. This room has something special in it from so many people I love. Loving it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jodi's perspective

Jodi explained the hospital and long walk into treatment far better than I could. Please go to her blog here to experience this from her perspective and understanding. Or click to the right on Jodi Davis's blog.

As I read Jodi's post, I had tears flowing down my eyes. She captured the feelings and emotions and we together walked into the unknown this past week. It was frightening and courageous.

Jodi was a rock. She stood by me when I could no longer hold myself up. My love for my sister is indescribable. She is one of the truest blessings and joys and gifts in my life. I am so grateful that she has chosen to walk this road with me, each and every step of the way. I love her and am so grateful for her.

I am learning so much, so quickly through this experience. The Lord makes sure we have what we need to make it through trials. Every one of my needs has been met during this trial. I have needed the love and support from my family and friends and it has been there 100%. Gratefulness.... gratitude.... humbleness.... love.

Love can pull one through the toughest of situations. Everyone's combined love and strength is definitely carrying me now. Thank you! Thank you! I love and appreciate each of your friendship and prayers.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

What a week!

To say this week has been a trial would be to underestimate that word. The beginning of the week started at mayo clinic with treatments.
Tuesday - Jodi took me in for the pretreatment and to begin the process of shutting down my autoimmune system and then rebuilding it a cell and antibody at a time. A little over half way into the treatment, I developed a spiky headache and vision loss. Horrific pain. Drs were called, treatment modified, and steroids given. Jodi took me home and I had a long night of laying on the couch battling a migraine and pain and weakness.
Jodi came over early the next morning for round two at mayo. Pretreatments went well after 3 iv needles were unsuccessful. I slept during a lot of the treatment. We were close to the end when the spiky migraine pressure headache came back and the vision loss. After conversations with the dr, it was determined that we post iv treatment until what could be meningitis was rules out. Throughout the evening and night the pain worsened and symptoms increased. I developed full blown meningitis. The fever started, the headaches spiked, everywhere on my body shot pain at every turn or slight movement. Even bouts of delirium and confusion set in. Indescribable pain and weakness were constant.
The drs didn't know what to do. With my immune system shut down, they did not think I could survive the trip from the ER to ICU. We were given a choice. The dr said there were no other medications to be given, this was the chance we took. We were in "wait and see" to see if the meningitis or my body would prevail.
The road since has been long. Long days and even longer nights. The pain, stiffness, exhaustion, pressure and illness has been all consuming.
I am so blessed to have the promise that the Savior would walk this road with me. He has been so close. When I could no longer bear the pain, I could feel my Father in Heaven wrap his arms around me and sustain me. It has been miraculous.
Today, as I lay on the couch, I know there are hundreds of people that are praying for me, fasting for me and pleading with the Lord on my behalf. My gratitude cannot adequately be expressed.
I know I will pull through. I know I can beat this. I know that this is molding me into who my Father in Heaven wants me to become. I know He walks this road with me. I have felt His power and His presence.
I'm praying that my body fights this meningitis and I will be healthy enough to start up the rest of the immune system transplant this week. We sure are praying this continues to work. We have faith. We have seen the Lord step in so many times in my behalf. We are so grateful.
I love my Savior. I love and appreciate my family and their sacrifices. I'm so thankful for all my many friends for pouring out their hearts and generosity and love toward us. We feel so loved and blessed. Thank you for your continued fasting and prayers. More details as I am able to write.