Friday, August 21, 2015

Homeschooling begins again

Ready! Set! Homeschool time! 

I feel much better prepared than in he past. I've found inline Life Science with a teacher and you tube science experiences for Hayden. He is getting to do experiments like building DNA code and Owl Puke. He is working on a math for dyslexia program that he is already soaring thru. We are working on sight words and improving spelling. All things that need to be done. Hayden is also practicing on an online math tutoring site. And an online reading tutor. Combined with tons of homeschooling and educational apps and programs. 

The things we are both most excited and passionate about is American History. We have dived into it and just can't get enough. I highly recommend he Netflix series, The Story of Us which is broken into hour segments and has about 20 plus episodes. I've loved every minute. We have also loved watching, The Men who Built America, and spent about 12 hours learning about Carnegie, JP Morgan, Rockerfeller, Ford and more. And How the States got their Shapes. Plus listening to Abraham Lincoln stories on line and doing an on-line college based course. So fun. We are loving listening to audio books such as Flags of our Fathers. 

Another highlight of our day is learning and studying, The art of argument. We are discussing the fallacies of advertising and how to argue smart. Hayden loves the why's and analyzing and debating. He gets the rest done so we can work on this course and history. 

With homeschooling, Hayden has more time to study and earn more merit badges in Scouts. We have loved the citizenship merit badges and are working on achieving sustainability, personal fitness, emergency preparedness, communication and working on achieving new ranks. 

In addition to curriculum, Hayden is loving engineering and learning with his cloud it started kit. Designing Legos to win he international young lego engineering award. He is working on independent reading. We are loving Kingdom Keepers. And next will start on Peter and the Starcatchers. These are fun books after the classics are read. Our goal is to read either out loud or listening. To audio books all the major classics this year such as Huckleberry Finn, Call of the wild, all cs Lewis books, treasure island, Tom Sawyer, cricket in Times Square, wrinkle in time series, wonder, outsiders, and tons more. 

Each day he has a "specials" just like in school. Monday, in addition to scripture and gospel study as a family every night, we have family home evening. Since our scripture study right now is the New Testament, our focus for FHE has been Miracles and conference talks and Hayden preparing and teaching the lesson. We are working thru Preach my,Gospel and it is great. I want to prepare him in all things to be a missionary. So Monday's are planning days and organizing. There is cleaning dog poop, weeding, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, laundry and sweeping and mopping. We have life skills class on Monday and Saturday. 

Tuesday evenings, Hayden is lucky enough to go to Scouts. He loves it and has absolutely amazing leaders. He looks forward to it. 

Wednesday's are a highlight as Grandma Joyce comes over in the late afternoon and teaches Hayden cooking lessons. They cook together, plan menus, bake goodies, talk and laugh. They watch fun programs or play puzzles while the food cooks. Then Grandma stays for dinner and we do something after dinner all together like a movie or game. 

Thursday afternoon, Hayden gets one on one time with Grandma Julie, to learn photography, photo shop, endesign, online learning and infographics. They are also working on his photography scouting merit badge. He loves it. 

Friday afternoons, Aunt a Suzi takes him to art classes. Boy is he getting good. He loves it so much! 

Hayden is also taking an independent java class and mod design online. 

I'm so grateful for the many many people that have come together to make this homeschooling a success. 

I'm grateful that all of these things can be done from bed. I have to rememeber that school days are 180 days a year. There are 365 days in a year. So it's ok to not get anything done besides having my boy read to me. As long as we get family scripture study in, I call it a successful day. I'm so glad he can  do so much online and on the iPad. 

And I always remember that if I give my all, then the Savior will make up the difference. We are a team. We are in this together. He told me to homeschool my son. I told him yes, as long as I was promised His help. It's going to be a great year. 

My bed

I love my "new to me" recliner. Michelle Herrick posted it free online. I was thrilled when it was still available. When I go to sleep in the recliner, both of he puppies follow me. We cuddle and sleep together on the recliner. Love these cute pups of mine. 

Black light dodge ball

Hayden loves mutual on Tuesday nights. I'm so grateful for amazing leaders that make it so much fun. Hayden had a ball playing black light dodge ball in the gym. It is his second favorite activity with 007 night tag being his all time favorite mutual activity. We are lucky to have great leaders and amazing youth. This is only a fraction of them. Hayden is on the left in the back. 

My girls

I now can yell, "girls!!!" Both these punks come running. 

Hayden plays ball with them and throws the small tennis ball down the hall. After a few times of getting it, Olivia will go hide it in her kennel. After we pull her out, we find all kinds of treasures. 

Maya is loving and playful and runs like crazy. These two are full of life. They play and play and play until they crash. Max is so much calmer. I e never seen three dogs with more personality. They are so fun. 

After staying with us for 5 days, I asked Olivia if she wanted to go home. She stopped what she was doing and ran I to her kennel and stayed. I guess that was a yes, I'm ready for my mom to come get me. 
Maya wants cuddles always. She lays and sleeps touching my legs. Her favorite place is under my knees. She is so loving. She is my shadow. She follows me from room to room, always. She is so much joy. Love these cute little girls. 


Hayden has a wonderful part time job of babysitting Olivia. We love this little three pound punk. She is fiesty. She is full of life. She is hyper and loving and crazy and fun. She brings so much excitement. We even have to overlook the fact that she gets so excited that she pees when she sees us. Lol. Oh how we adore her. Plus, they all get along so well now. They think they all belong together. They are so cute. And it is good for Hayden to learn to train and care for another dog. She's a cutie and we love her. 

Fur babies

I love my fur babies. They bring me so much joy and love and hope. They make me smile on my saddest and loneliest days. They are there when I am all alone. When everyone else is playing and having fun, these puppies cuddle on my lap and are grateful that I am home. They cuddle with me. They love me. They need me. If it is only to pet them and let them outside, they still need me. And oh how I need them. I love them.  I see how they were hand picked for our family. Just the right amount of craziness and fun and cuddles and personalities and love. 

They are my babies. And oh how I love them. 

Acts of love

These guys of mine. I love them with all of my heart. Thomas knows that putting on jewelry, especially necklaces is difficult for me. My fingers just don't work like they should. 

So, he takes my necklaces and adds easy locking clasps so I can independently put them on/off. Then he designed and installed this creative necklace holder and organized my necklaces and surprised me. He enlisted Hayden's help and they spent hours on this project. 

These two love me so much. It amazes me. I'm so grateful for their kindness. Their love. Their service. I am the luckiest wife and mom around. And look how happy they look serving me. I'm simply in awe. 


How lucky am I? 

Hayden, after helping do all of his normal Saturday chores, with a smile, asked if there was anything I would like done extra. He had already pulled weeds, cleaned up dog poop, helped his dad in the garage, folded laundry, helped cleaned bathrooms, and vacuumed. 

I told him he could wash doors and sanitize door knobs and clean light switches for money. He thanked me. He smiled as he worked so hard. He gave it his all. He worked hard and with a huge smile. 

I couldn't be more proud of my boy and the great young man he is. He is simply one of a kind amazing. His heart of gold and willingness to serve and work hard is beyond refreshing. I'm so lucky to be his mom. 

Pain and the atonement

I used to think I understood the atonement. I was a missionary for 18 months and taught the most important part of our beliefs, the atonement and plan of salvation for mankind. I thought I understood. I thought my understanding of the atonement to erase my sins was complete. 

Oh how this illness has expanded and enlightened me on our Savior's loving atonement. Yes, my SVior suffered for my sins in Gethsemanee and bore all the heartache and pain I have caused others. He suffered for my wrong doings. He suffered for my sins. And I am so grateful for His selfless act. 

This illness has brought on a new understanding.  The atonement also bore my illness. For a moment during His suffering, He felt my pain, my illness, my disease and my limitations. He felt the unfairness of how I have been judged and shunned. He bore the unfairness of this illness and the trials this life brings. He bore my heartache. He bore my pain. He bore the unfairness of life. 

The atonement is so personal now to my heart. I understand that there is nothing I have experienced or will ever experience that my Savior has not already experienced first. I do not walk alone. I do not bear my sufferings alone. My Savior carries me. He understands. He holds me. He loves me dearly. He has never and will never leave me alone. 

My gratitude for the Savior, my Savior, is beyond words. But it fills my entire heart. 

Our weekends

With my body being unable to do much besides move from my bed to the couch and game room, our weekend consist a lot of hanging out together. 

Before I got sick, we would go exploring and on adventures. We were always gone. Visiting others and lign to movies and out to dinner and exploring Arizona. Visiting parks and going to plays and musicals. We were always on the go. 

Now, most weekends we never leave except to venture out to church, and then usually, it is just the boys and I listen to conference talks at home or I make it only to sacrament meeting. 

Because of that, we do family things at home. I lay in the recliner while my guys play video games. I love watching them talk and strategize together. The puppies all curl up on my lap. I sleep. I read. I play iPad games. I cuddle with the pups. 

Or, we lay on my bed and play with the puppies. Maya is crazy and thinks she is a goat. She climbs all over us. She is crazy. Max loves to be let. Maya loves to play. And when Olivia is here, she is simply a playful and crazy pup, who we lovingly call the little black bat. 

We used to travel. Now we cuddle on the bed and watch movies and talk. We read scriptures and discuss history. We read books. We have pillow fights. The boys wrestle. And we have a great time. We have just as much love and joy and fun as we did being gone. It's just more simple now. We still make incredible memories. We talk. We laugh. We pray. We love. And I couldn't love my family any more. They are my world. 

If only

If only I had a chance to reach out and touch the Savior's garments, I would. I love this story in the scriptures. I love the account of a woman so racked with pain and illness, that no doctor could cure her. For years and years she suffered. She was shunned. She was discarded and pushed aside. She was considered unworthy and unclean. 

Yet, she had so much faith in the Savior. She knew His great power and His ability to heal. She knew touching His clothing alone would heal her. 

I relate so closely with this woman. I know what it is like to suffer. To feel abandoned and discarded and unworthy by those who most would consider my supporters. To try to protect those who push me aside and consider me unworthy of love and support because of my illness. My invisible illness. 

But, this picture reminds me that no matter what those on earth believe about me, I am worthy of my Savior's love. He heals me. He has surrounded me with amazing people that love me and will help me. He protects me during surgery, he heals my hurt, he comforts me when I feel alone and he eases my pain when I am at my breaking point. 

He gave me a wonderful husband to love and support me. He gave me my precious son who is kind and loving and caring and brings me insurmountable joy. He sent my puppies to bring laughter and love every day. He gave me a sister to be my best friend and support and the one I call when I would my mother. He lets my angel mother in Heaven watch over me and walk with me and occasionally let me see and feel her by my side. He gave me a loving mother in law who cherishes us and will serve with all of her heart. He sent so many family and friends to buoy me up. Suzi, my friend for over 20 years. To help and care about my boy. To do for us. He sent Julie to step in and help to mother me and care for me. When my dear sister moved, he sent my dear cousin, Lisa and her family, just down the street to be a support for me. He sent me friends in similar circumstances to help one another thru. He gave me the greatest visiting teachers and dear ward friends that I love and cherish and adore. He gave me lifelong friends like Darce and Kerri and so many more. I shouldn't name names because I am still under medication from surgery and am forgetting some key people. But I am so blessed. 

I am so grateful. So very grateful. I know my Savior loves me. I know He protects me. I know He knows me and He loves me. So very much. More than I can imagine. And as much as I love and cherish and adore my son, my Savior loves Hayden and Thomas and me more than I could imagine. And He does heal me. Even when my physical body remains ill and disabled, he heals my heart. He heals my mind. He heals my soul. And he heals my physical body so I can continue to live with those I love. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Comforter, my all. And I am safe with Him. 

Dinner at Suzi's

Suzi made dinner for Lisa's, Jake's and our family one night. It was so fun to see everyone before the craziness of school started. Yes. I'm a bit behind in my blogging since it was right after the beach. We feasted on Bob's yummy grilled chicken, Lisa's famous twice baked potatoes, and Suzi had yummy watermelon, grilled corn on the cob, tons of yummy sides and delicious torment cookies and cupcakes. Delicious. Even better was the laughter of cousins catching up, the adults chatting and the wonderful memories made. I'm grateful for close knit ties of loved ones to get together and enjoy life wig. 

Spoiled rotten

Seriously!!!!!  How lucky am I???!!! 

My husband. My absolutely selfless husband rubs my feet nightly. Oh and did I mention that I awake every morning to a diet coke by my bed. Oh and he gently wakes me with my meds and an egg, over easy on toast and my vitamins on a plate. And he does everything I need or could ask for or even drem of. 

I seriously hit the jackpot. 

And young girls out there. Watch out. He is training Hayden to be just like him. My son, at only 13 years old, will put a blanket over me if I fall asleep and gently kiss my head. If I am upset, he asks what h can do for me. He makes me lunch. He is the man when Thomas is gone and takes his responsible role. If I try to clean at all, he tells me to go lay down, I got this. 

Seriously. Some people play slots or gamble and hit the jackpot. We may not have oodles of money but we have one another and I wouldn't trade my jackpot for all the money in the world. These two make me the luckiest person alive. I love you Thomas and Hayden.  

Birthday week

I know it seems as if I am spoiled rotten and have a week long celebration. Ok. I am spoiled rotten by family and friends. They treat me wonderful. But, it is partly because of my limitations and only being able to go an hour or so a day, so I get to drag it out which is really kind of fun. Lucky me. 

My birthday

My two boys treated me like a queen, as they do every day of my life. 

As they walked in the room to bring me breakfast in bed, I smiled as the song, "These are the special times" went thru my head. "The special times are the times I share with you. These tender moments when Heaven is so close. These are the special times. The precious times. The tender times. The ones we hold in our hearts forever. The special times are the times are the times I share with you." 

My guys are simply amazing. They love me and cherish me. They respect me and honor and revere me. The treat me with the upmost kindness and love. They spoil me rotten. I love them and how much they give their all to make me feel like their queen. 

Of course, on my birthday, they did not disappoint. Somehow. Someway. They always seem to outdo themselves. 

They showered me with love and a new sweat outfit. Oh how they know me. They bought me an adult coloring book and new colored pencils so I could practice art with Hayden. I loved it. 

Then Hayden found out that there are birthday freebies. So we went and collected some. Free 4 muffins at Mimi's Cafe, free ice cream, free meals. Our plan was to go to lunch but our adventure was cut short as I started into multiple seizures. Hayden took it all in stride as Thomas took us home and gave me a priesthood blessing. I spent the entire rest of the day sleeping. 

I missed so many family and friends that stopped by with cards and cookies and flowers and. Gifts. Unfortunately, I slept thru it all. But was so grateful for all those that remembered me and lifted my spirits. 

Thomas and Hayden had planned to take me to Cracker Barrel for dinner and to jesterz comedy club for my,birthday night. Thomas awoke me moments before we would have to leave and asked if I wanted to attempt it. I was nervous and felt awful but thought I needed to try for Hayden's sake. 

I'm so glad I took pain pills and attempted to go. We ate chicken and dumplins for dinner and headed next door to the comedy club, where Thomas is friends with the owner. It is a family friendly pg show. Hayden laughed his heart out. He asked if we could go every Saturday. I think it's funny how much he loved it. I had fun sitting and listening to Hayden laugh. 

I was sandwiched and the cream filling between the two people who love me the most in this world. Thomas had his arm around me and holding my right hand. Hayden nestled in and was holding my,left hand. I felt so loved. I don't remember the comedians or stand up comedies done that night. But I will never forget my feeling. Of love. And how much these two protect and love and cherish me. My heart swelled with gratitude for these two and the joy they bring to my,life. 

My heart then swelled with love for the life I've been given. I felt so loved. 

I struggled out to the car and collapsed. I don't rememeber anything until the next day. I slept 22 out of 24 hours. But it was so worth it. I'm so so blessed to be Thomas' wife and. Hayden's mom. I'm so grateful for another year to spend with them. That is my greatest gift and I am forever grateful. 

Here's to 45. My wish....Make it to 46. 

Brazilian barbecue

Josh, Jake and I all have birthdays within a couple of weeks of one another. My dad usually takes us out to eat for our birthdays. This year he decided to take the three of us and our spouses together. He took us to a Brazilian BBQ restaurant. 

I was so worried I wouldn't be able to make it. I have been struggling and hurting do badly. Jack was sweet and showed up to pick me up. Too bad Suzi had already dropped me off at his house. I rode with my brothers to the restaurant. Thomas and my dad met us there. I had to take meds in order to even go. Restaurants are so hard because of my legs getting clots or severe pain or pressure. 

However this restaurant was fancy shmancy. People walked around cutting off all kinds of meat on your plate. My favorite was the parmeasesn crusted pork. Delicious. And the best tasting filet mignon. Almon with all the sides. Then they brought out 3 huge desserts for me and Josh and Jake. Tree leche cake was delicious and my first time having it. 

I enjoyed being with my dad and brothers, their wives and Thomas. By the time with left, I could hardly walk out. I crashed and slept the entire time in the car on the way home. 

It os so rare that Thomas and I go out to dinner. I think the last time was at the beach and prior to that was with Jodi and Troy months and months ago. It was a treat to go out. So much fun. 

I'm grateful for these special moments in my life. I feel wrapped in love. That is the greatest feeling ever. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

My sister

Seriously. Why do I never take pictures? I've gotten to be such a slacker. 

Regardless. Jodi asked what I wanted for my birthday. All I ever want is time. I love spending time with her. My sweet sister and niece and nephews came over and spent the night and hung out the following day. I loved seeing and talking with my sister. 

We don't have to do anything. Just sitting on the bed or couch talking and laughing are some of my fondest moments. There is something in life about a sister. Someone that loves you and all your imperfections. No judging or unrealistic expectations simply loving me for who I am. It's the greatest gift. I can be me. Whether that is me on my best days of actually,being able to leave the house for a short activity or whether it is in a hospital bed as she comforts me or just hanging out at home, being together is simply enough. 

Jodi took me to one of my favorites, apple dumpling restaurant for breakfast. So fun to just sit and talk and catch up. It was heavenly. Later Lisa came and visited with us and the kids. 

I'm grateful for the world's greatest sister. I am grateful for her sweet children. I love and cherish her kids as if they were my own. 

As she left, I wish she could have stayed forever. But I was so grateful for the time I got to spend with her. She gives me the strength and courage to keep fighting. She helps me to reach deep down and find an inner strength only reachable by my Savior. 

As a child, I rememeber wanting gifts. Today, gifts of time and service and love are so much nearer and dearer to my heart. Just a encouraging word, a hug, a sincere compliment, a hand to hold when I can't do it and an understanding ear and reassuring word mean the most. Knowing that I truly matter mean the most. Jodi is this person to me. She knows how to lift my,spirit and help me find the inner strength to keep going. She reassures me that I am enough. That my efforts, no matter how little, matter. That my life, even as restricted and limited as it is, still matters. That I am still valuable. That I am still needed, wanted, valued and loved. 

Jodi(and so many others) gave me the greatest gift this year. The gift of unconditional love. Of sacrifice. Kindness. Gentleness. Service. And reassured me that in my own way, that I still make a difference and have value. That is am still wanted here. 

I'm grateful for a selfless sister that is full of Christlike love. I may be the older sister but she sure is the example. I love you, Jodi. You will never know how much your visit meant to me. 

Create your own donut

Suzi took Lisa and I to the fractured prune to create our own donut for our birthday. So yummy. So fun. Seriously a "create your own donut bar". Yummy. Peppermint patty, key lime pie, Black Forest, lemonade, churro, raspberry chocolate and death by chocolate. Simply delicious. 

Suzi spoiled us rotten. Happy feet for a reflexology massage. Lunch at Chilis and then donuts. 

I loved getting a massage. It helped ease the pain so I could venture out for a little bit. Such a blessing. Thanks suzi. I had a wonderful time. 

Cooking classes

One of the many great reasons I love that Hayden is homeschooled. Cooking classes with Grandma Joyce every Wednesday. 

Hayden was so excited to start as he said, "man, I would love to learn to cook as well as grandma someday. This is going to be a wonderful class." 

I love listening to the laughter as Hayden talks grandma's ear off. They talk and tell stories. I listen to Joyce teach Hayden about her childhood and things she did with Thomas. I love that his confidence in the kitchen is improving. He is learning science, reading and following directions, how to modify recipes, how to plan a meal, a week's worth of meals, how to figure out a grocery list based on needs for a week not just a meal and how to plan meals to save the most money. He is learning to start and take inventory of refrigerator items, especially those that need to be eaten right away. Then do that for,the pantry and freezer. Then look at the ads to see what is on sale and based on what is in stock at our home and the sales ads, determine healthy and economical meals. 

Best of all, do you how nice it is to eat a home cooked meal, made with love by grandma and my son. Absolutely delicious. 

Once he starts mastering baking goods, simple meals, crockpot meals, oven and stove cooking, I am ready to have someone teach Hayden to can. We definitely need to can some chicken. 

I'm so grateful for all those that are apart of our village in teaching and caring for us and Hayden. We are so lucky. 

And can can I tell you that chicken and biscuits last week and pork chops and mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and cheesecake this week. I will absolutely love Wednesdays. 

Friday, August 14, 2015


These are my three babies. Don't let me fool anyone. Hayden is my baby. I love and adore him but he is such a sweet and kind mama's boy that I utterly adore. He is my joy. 

Then there is my. Max. He is my sweet  jackchi dog. He is loyal as they come. He is as needy as they come and wants to be pet every single day, every hour and every minute. He is convinced that every person that walks in the door is here to visit him, not the rest of us. He makes it known that all visitors are his property. Crazy and loyal Max. 

Then there is my little. Maya. My girl. My precious little mama's girl. She is cuddly and loving. She follows me every where. She cuddles like crazy with me. She is sweet and a doll. She is the most playful pup. She is happy and funny and teases. Oh how I adore her. She is joy and sunshine wrapped in a little bundle. 

So, these three are my world, along with Thomas. 

I am so grateful for all those that step up and help me with these three. 

A big huge thank you to Jolie who loving became the crazy dog lady for 2 1/2 weeks and kept my two pups so me and Hayden could go to the beach. Julie lovingly kept the dogs while we went to San Diego and then helped Thomas with the dogs while he was at work and then she kept them again full time while we all were out of town for 10 days. I couldn't have gone that long without her loving sacrifice and service. I'm grateful that I didn't have to worry about my babies. I knew that Max and Maya were safe and happy in her care. Thanks, Julie! I'm so grateful you love my little fur babies so much. And I am grateful that you even helped juggle Olivia some. Making your home crazy with 5 dogs. The puppies adore you. Thanks for helping us out and letting us go without worries. 


Missing this kid today. Love my Brigham boy so much. 

Eye infection

Oh man has my eye been killing me. 

My left eye started swelling up last week. I thought it was just my dry eyes and sores due to autonomic and autoimmune conditions. But by Monday, I was running a fever, had a huge sty in the inside of my eye and I could barely see. Oh did it hurt. Migraine city. 

Thomas took me to urgent care Monday night. I sat in urgent care doubled in a ball due to the pain of the eye and migraine and the extreme nausea. 

The urgent care doctor told me it was a serious staph or MRsA infection in my eye. They told me of ot got any worse at all to head straight to ER. Or if it didn't clear up. And that they would do surgery. Great. Not fun.  

So, I hunkered down and went to my,other doctor appointments trying not to let the migraine collapse me. 

By Hursday morning it was awful. Thomas took me to ER. 

ER was frustrated because the urgent care put me on erythromycin. Something I am allergic to but they said it would t effect my eye. 

Well come to find out, I was having an allergic reaction plus it was making my infection worse. Great. They switched meds. And said I need clear the allergic reaction prior to surgery. So I am on new meds and praying I don't need eye surgery. 

In the mean time, battling migraines and only sporadic vision in my left eye isn't a whole lot of fun. But I'm grateful for doctors that care and try hard. Such is my crazy life. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wait - another surgery

Yesterday, my eye was so swollen and painful I could not take I anymore. My vision was clouded over and it felt like I was looking or seeing thru a cloud. Not fun at all. Thomas got home and rushed me to urgent care. I wanted to cry it hurt so bad. 

The doctor preformed eye tests. I couldn't even see the huge lette at the top. Too painful to open my,eye and the cloud made it all fuzzy. The doctor checked it out. 

One of two things. A staph infection in my eye or worse yet, a MRsA infection and sist in my eye. Oh how it hurts. I was given 3 prescriptions. And 24 hours to improve. If not, head straight to ER and they will surgically remove it. 

It's been 24 hours. I'm up. The pain is indescribable. It's 1 am and I wonder if I should give in. 

However, in a few hours, I have breathing tests scheduled that took 6 weeks to get into. The results directly effect my 9/11 surgery date. I must see these tests thru. 

So I guess my plan is to endure. Spend the afternoon having breathing tests ran. Then, when Thomas comes home from work, go to ER and have them arrange a surgeon to surgically remove the MRsA sist from my eye. It is right over the vision center so it will be risky. But I cannot take the pain any longer. I need sleep. I need relax. I need to get this infection out of my eye because it is causing pain that is without description. So incredibly painful. 

I handle the day to day stuff pretty ok. It's this stuff that pushes me over the edge. I could use prayers. Lots of them. I really do not want to lose my,vision. Nor do I want this to turn systemic. And develop a fill body infection. 

So I do the only thing I know how. Pray. Pray with all my might. Ask for relief. Ask for calm water. But I do know that my Savior walks on water. He is my protector and comforter. He will go before me. I will trust Him. 

Surgery1 September

I had a barium swallow test last week. Abnormal. Sticking over the aortic arch. Delayed swallowing. Severe weakness in the entire swallowing mechanism. And a paralyzed muscke in my smile. Also, the food and water is first going to my windpipe and then my esophagus which is causing me to aspirate. So. Surgery is needed. 

Dr Wadas will preform an upper and lower endoscopy while dilating the esophagus, repairing the prefer action between lungs and esophagus. He will also address the issue of the tracheamalicia. He will also do a colonoscopy at the same time. While in there he will try to repair the hole that has been constantly bleeding for over 4 years. Oh the joys. 

I pray they will be able to fix the trachea without stenting it. If stenting is necessary, I will be on a ng feeding tube. I will not be able to eat or drink. As it heals, I will be able to eventually get to where I will be able to eat things with the consistency of a milkshake. Nothing thicker than that ever for the rest of my life. And that will only be accomplished with lots of therapy. 

So, the anticipation or being able to breathe. But, also, praying they can fix the other issues without too many complications. 

Tomorrow, I go in for more breathing tests and to see how the trachea is sticking. 

I have a fabulous team of doctors and I am very grateful for all the ways they are trying to help me. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New Daily Routine

Here we go with our new routine:

5:00am - Jer & Thomas up
6:00am - apply all natural treatments, especially when he is asleep, before he wakes up
6:30am - Hayden up
7:15am - leave for school/work
3:40pm - arrive home from school/work
4:00pm - begin homework & dinner
5:30pm - dinner
6:00pm - therapy/homework
7:00pm - get essential oils bath ready (20 min. soak)
7:30pm - reading/rubbing essential oils on his feet/legs(he loves this)
8:00pm - Hayden bedtime - me to do all that needs to be done for family

It is going to be a very structured, routine schedule for a while until I can figure out how to shorten it. But, I am very confident we will see some improvements in his life.

This is how I do it

One of the questions I am asked the most is "how do you do it? How do you not get bitter but continue to find and see the good even in your situation?"

The answer is my dear husband. My sweet son. And my loving Savior. Cherished family and friends. 

Thomas is my rock. He gets up each morning early, about 5 am. He doesn't have to leave for work until 7:45. However, he lovingly wakes up early to do what needs to be done. He showers and gets ready. 

He runs to circle k to get me a fountain diet coke drink. He comes and gently wakes me up. He hands me my morning medications and my diet coke. He sits with me on the bed as I gasp for air and struggle to endure the pain until the medications kick in. He either rubs my back, my feet or gets me what I need until the excrutiating pain subsides. He then helps me up and to the restroom. And helps me back to bed. Gets me settled, rearranges blankets and pillows, and again either applies medications to my aching joints and muscles. Once I am settled, he gently kisses my forehead and goes to the kitchen. But before he goes, he lets the puppies outside to go to the bathroom. 

My loving husband then makes me a piece of toast and a fried egg and brings it to me in bed. He then makes himself breakfast. 

After breakfast, or while cooking, he cleans the kitchen, makes a grocery list, puts in laundry, and replaces light bulbs and unloads the dishwasher. 

He then awakes Hayden. We gather to read scriptures and say prayers. Thomas instructs Hayden on things that need to be done such as emptying the dishwasher or vacuuming or switching laundry. 

Thomas always allows for time to help me with anything I need. 

He goes to work and works hard all day. He is the best and hardest worker at work. Always helping others. His spends his lunchtime running errands and taking care of our family, after eating his quick sack lunch. 

On the way home from work, he calls to see if we need anything. He stops and picks me up another drink. He comes in. Gives hugs and kisses all around. He immediately comes in and starts making dinner. After dinner he helps clean up the kitchen. He then grocery shops, works on building his Q96 business, cleans the house, finishes laundry, changes lightbulb, cleans the yard, repairs things and does whatever is needed. 

Before bed, he makes sure we gather for family prayer. He talks with. Hayden. Always taking time to teach him. Many nights, after Hayden and I are in bed, he will head to the grocery store. He shuts down the house and finally comes to bed. 

He awakes at my slightest movement of pain and meets my needs. And starts again the next day. 

The answer is. I couldn't do it without him. I need my dear husband. He encourages me. He reassures me. He tells me how lucky he is to be my husband. He comforts me and lets me know that he would rather serve me than walk this journey one day without me. He does all these things whole telling me he loves me and adores me. He cherishes me. I am surrounded in love. He never makes me feel like I am a burden or inconvenience. He cherishes me. He loves me. 

This husband of mine. He is the most Christlike person I know. How lucky am I to be married to such an incredible guy. 

And even a greater bonus .... He is raising Hayden to be just like him. I couldn't ask for more. I am blessed far more than I deserve. 

I am so blessed

There are days that I sit back and look at my life and think how blessed I am. 

I have everything so much better than I deserve. I have been given so much. No matter what obstacles I have to face, I have people I love and my dear Savior by my side. 

I find so much joy in being  Hayden's mom. I cherish being Thomas' wife. I feel in awe at the incredible people I am lucky enough to call friends and family. I find happiness in the sweet cuddles of my puppies. I find comfort in the sweet company of the Holy Ghost. I find strength in those tat have gone before me and surround me to buoy me up. I find peace and rest in my Savior's arms. What more could I ask for? I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve. And I am so very very grateful. 

Fathers shoes

Thomas wore his shoes out. There were holes in the soles me heels and toes. 

This says so much about Thomas. He works hard. So hard. He wears his life out in the service of others. He gives until there is nothing left. He puts everyone else first. He thinks of himself last. He doesn't even think of himself. He just gives all he has. 

Every step in life counts. I'm grateful I get to walk this life right by Thomas' side. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Simonton's arrive- reunion time

The gang has arrived. We are all here and accounted for. The party of cousins everywhere has begun. I look forward to time with my siblings. Grandkids anxiously await time with Grandpa and Grandma and all Simonton's are full of excitement. Hugs are freely given. Lots of catching up is done. Cars are unloaded, suitcases unpacked, treats and food stuff the cabinents and we bring out the games.

We are noisy! Very very noisy! We laugh and talk and cry because we laugh so hard. We find out the latest undertakings of nieces and nephews. We are in awe of how big everyone looks. We talk of how much easier the beach gets every year as our kids grow up. Then we laugh at JD and Cassie for starting over with a baby. But with her being the only Simonton baby, 5 years younger than the next, we all soak in Ashlyn and cuddle on her.

We talk of achievements, accomplishments and things we have overcome. We reminisce and of course talk about what Mom would think if she were here. We each silently have our own rituals and our own families have their traditions. But cousins, and siblings, and in laws and grandparents and parents and it all just makes it so much fun.

I love the beach. My home is Oceanside. A piece of my heart always resides there and anxiously awaits our return. Hayden feels the same way. Our hearts are complete and whole on the beach, listening to ocean waves break and roll in. Life is good. Life is in harmony..  All is as it should be, at the beach.

Hayden and Chase and Brooklyn ready to body surf.
Finding sand crabs and digging holes are always a favorite.
I love snuggling with the new little babies. This is Kade, Ashley and Tracy's new one.
Treyson, Chase and Hayden hanging on the beach.
Josh's boys brought a ball to flip on and bounce on, the kids loved doing flips off of it and got really good over the week. absolutely a hit.
I love the serenity and peacefulness of the beach at night. The sun goes down leaving an empty beach and a calm in my heart.
The Bair's brought a huge pop up and a bbq to the beach. Definitely a hit. I want one. Shade and fun.
Thomas loves the beach and I love him so much. He melts my heart. He is my joy.
Playing volleyball on the beach. Thomas loves it. The girls always knows he is up for it.

Hot dogs and hamburgers on the yes.. Hayden will take one of each.
Lining up for the bbq.  Thanks, Vaughn!
Hanging with my sister and my husband in lots and lots of shade. Life is wonderful.
Crazy Suzi prefers the sun. She even studies on the beach.
My sweet newest niece, Ashlyn. She adores aunt Jer.
I love teaching her new tricks like "how big is Ashlyn?"
More flips off the ball. 
All smiles as usual! This boy loves the beach.
Me and Jake. love my brother, Jake and JD and JOsh, not pictured.
Beaching it!
More grilling and more eating on the beach.
My family. My joy. My favorite part of the beach is time with these two.

Oceanside 2015! You were good to us, as expected. Can't wait to see you next year for more memories and mor fun in 2016!