Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Our sleepover in Medford

Even though we got up at 7am this morning it took us till 8:46 to leave the house for our Oregon trip.
We packed the day before, AND we ate breakfast in the car, 
so it should NOT have taken us 106 minutes to get ready to go. But it did. 

After about 6 get-out-of-the-car-and-walk-around-stops, we arrived in Medford about 5:30. 
Once we checked in to the Holiday Inn Express, we went right over to Elmer's for dinner.  
So what should we see as soon as we walked in the restaurant? 
A sign announcing summer.

Where we come from, we feel summer, we don't announce it. 
But with spring like temps here, I guess they need to let the residents know when it has arrived.

Since we haven't met up with our grandchildren yet (that's tomorrow!) 
I had nothing else to take pictures of except our food:
It's your guess which dinner is mine. 
Hint: 90% of the time Den orders breakfast. Not me.
And I like my fish with applesauce and lemon.  
Now you know.


So on our way back to the hotel we spotted this.
Like I say, they do things differently here in Oregon.

So don't give up on me yet. 
My pictures will be much better once I see our little grandsons, 
not to mention their good looking parents!


We're on our way to Oregon!



This time we not only get to see the McKs and Grant, 
but Karen and Tyler and Richie are driving from Logan 
to meet us there in Portland. 
We can hardly get there fast enough!

A big thank you to our house tenders!
We have the best, but too bad they don't have Alex to keep them company. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

An update on a happy family

Do you remember this picture on my blog about 18 months ago?

and don't forget to scroll down and look at those amazing pictures. 

Luckily she had a photographer who was Johnny on the spot.
(does anyone even say Johnny on the spot anymore?)
Oh and read her birth story...I'm in awe!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let's go back to Family Camp 1980

Lizzy Lowe, Brock (my oldest son), and Matt Ward

These 3 amigos were inseparable that Family Camp week of 1980.
Before we were even awake,
Lizzy and Matt would be at our cabin door waiting for Brock. 

I don't think Brock has seen Lizzy since that week.
But tonight I found out she is now Elizabeth Anderson 
and has been crowned Mrs.Utah !


Just a little thought as Family Camp 2012 officially begins tomorrow morning. 

Also, Matt Ward (above pictured with Brock) was in a very serious roll over 
car accident 9 days ago, along with his wife and 3 children.  

Here's a quote from Matt's wife Aimee for those who haven't seen it on Facebook:
"I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. It has been felt every step of the way. My family was in a serious car accident in Reno, NV last Friday. Thankfully, we all made it ok. My eldest, Emma, did break a vertebrae in 2 places, but (thankfully) did not require surgery. She is in a brace and doing very well. I suffered a compound fracture in my right arm, a fracture in my right hip, & 4 fractures in my neck. I had to have surgery on all of these things, and I have felt your prayers and support carry me. We have blessed without measure! We have left the wonderful hospital in Reno that has been carrying for me and we are transporting me to a Rehab hospital in Fresno! I will be able to be close to the ones I love as I get stronger. I am so grateful for my Savior. He has truly carried me. Thank you all for helping to hold me up, too. "

Friday, July 27, 2012

After surgery

So far so good. 

 Even his nurse seems surprised that Dad is so wide awake after surgery. 
He doesn't act the least bit sleepy.

I thought this little corner of my Dad's hospital room was interesting.
It reminds me of the inside of a motor home.

Even on morphine, he gets all the questions right...
you know, like, "Do you know what year it is?" or "Where are you?"
When I asked him what level his pain was at he said 32. 
Yep, he's still got it. (It did feel good to laugh!)

Thank you very much for all of your prayers.
We appreciate them more than we can express.

The week we wish that wasn't

Early Saturday morning my Dad arrived by ambulance to Clovis Hospital.

After spending all day in their ER,
he was transferred by ambulance to Fresno Hospital so a neurosurgeon could look at him.

Neurosurgeon says he is not a good candidate for surgery
so by ambulance he is sent back to Clovis Hospital.

Tuesday he was then sent by ambulance to San Joaquin Rehab Center.

Thursday morning he was sent back by ambulance to Clovis Hospital where he spent over 12 hours in their ER.

Last night he was sent back to Fresno Hospital by ambulance for yet another neurosurgeon to see him.
He and Susan spent over 12 hours (and counting!) in their ER waiting to be admitted.

So that's where he is now, and we still don't know what they are going to do about his fractured back. 
It's been a nightmare.
Could there be a harder week of my Dad's life? I don't think so.

Susan has been our angel. She dearly loves him, and won't hardly leave his side.

Update at noon: They are prepping Dad for surgery.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The most important part of a family vacation

By: Daryl Smith, editor of Seeing The Everyday (published 4 times a year)



Sitting by my Dad's hospital bed yesterday, 
I thought back to my favorite family vacation.
I can't remember how old I was but it was somewhere in my middle childhood.
I think it was when the twins were babies, so there were probably 7 of us kids.

Anyway, my Dad had the idea of staying home for a week 
and doing something special in our own town every day for 5 or 6 days straight. 
One day he took us on a tour of the court house....when does anyone take time to do that? 
It was followed by lunch at Anna'a Tea House. 
I still remember the little sandwiches without crust. 

Another day we all went to the movies together. (a big deal back then)
Can't remember much about the details of the other planned days, 
but I do remember being so excited each night as we would go to sleep 
thinking of the adventure waiting us the next morning. 

We got to explore our own town, and do it all together as a family.
This happened nearly 45 years ago, but I still think about it every single summer.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Life back at the hospital


My Dad was taken back to the hospital by ambulance a few days ago. 
The 2 vertebrae he had surgery on the previous week, have collapsed into each other. 
We are all waiting and praying for answers.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

She said it best.

“We must not drift away from humble works, 
because these are the works nobody will do. 
It is never too small. 
We are so small we look at things in a small way. 
But God almighty sees everything great. 
Therefore, if you just go and sit and listen, 
go visit somebody, or bring somebody a flower
–small things, wash clothes for somebody, 
or clean the house, very humble work. 
That is where you and I must be. 
For there are many people who can do big things. 
But there are very few who will do the small things.” 
~Mother Teresa

This quote reminds me of my mother. 
She was continually doing the small great things of life. 


On a bit of a different note, 
Look how a woman did 
I especially love how she got her children involved.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Look what I did to my closet


I won't even show a before picture because it looked like chaos.
Plus I forgot to take one anyway.
For years and years this was our kids' linen closet.
Then they all left home and it's become our guest/kids visiting/storage closet.

I struggled with this closet for 22 years.
And then last week I saw one blog post that changed it all for me.
Scroll down when you get there, for her inspiring picture.

Now I'll show you some of the detail.
The little containers on wheels on the floor 
are actually child's lego containers that I found at Target.

 
I just turned them around as you can see.
and put a label on them.

I used the ends of the shelves to store things like our foot soaker. 
Never know when we might need that.

Likewise, I used the other end of the shelf for larger bottles that need to stand upright.

This idea I got from my sister, Robin.
It's a  jar is filled with little shampoos, lotions, etc that we bring home from hotel visits.
I also put in miniature tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes from our dental cleanings. 
Just in case our visiting family/friends have forgotten something.


I'm not showing the grandkids what's inside the band-aid drawer,
or we will suddenly be having lots of accidents.

I had never thought of using those little pull out drawers in a closet.
They are little wonders to me now!
I found them at Target. Of course.

So yes, if you haven't done so yet, be sure and check out the blog I got this idea from.



Monday, July 16, 2012

Have I told you lately that I love you??

Just as we arrived at my Dad's hospital room 
this afternoon to pick him up (Susan was at a Dr appt of her own at the time), 
the man in the bed next to him 
whispered for me to come talk to him. 
Not sure what to expect, I went behind his little curtain 
and then he said to me in very hushed tones:

Dad's roomie: Your Dad had a bad reaction to the sleeping pill they gave him last night.
Me: Oh, really? What happened?
He was delusional and singing at the top of his lungs.
Seriously? Uh, are you sure? My Dad's not a singer.
Of course I'm sure. I heard him. 
It was in the middle of the night 
and he was singing just as loud as he could.
Well, what was he singing?
He was singing that song....uh...
oh what is the name of it...something like 
"Have I told you lately that I love you?"
Really? My Dad? Singing that song?
Well he wasn't singing it to me! But yes, he was singing
So then I'm thinking his fellow roomie is nuts. "Okay well thank you for letting me know."

I went back to my Dad's side of the room and began reading his discharge papers...
trying to make sure we had everything we needed before we took him home.
I asked Dad about his pain, etc and then he said to me: 

"I was singing in the middle of the night."

"Huh? Why were you doing that?"

"Around 2 am I kept pushing the buzzer because I needed the nurse, but she never came. 
So then I just began singing, "Have I told you lately that I love you?"

"You really did sing that Dad?" 

"Yeah, and it worked. The nurse came right in!"

So mystery solved.  My Dad was not delusional, and his roomie was not nuts.
My Dad may be 82, and couldn't get out of bed last night, but he's still as independent as ever. 
He can come up with a solution for anything. He's been this way his entire life!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

update on my Dad

 Susan left this comment on my previous post, but I wasn't sure who saw it, so here it is:



"Susan Reporting: All went well with the procedure. One fracture was large and the other tiny. Of course they cared most about the larger one. The bone cement was injected and will harden and he should be good as new. Dr. said it is not uncommon at all that this happened because of a sneeze. Richard is in good spirits and ate hardily afterwards. He appreciates all the calls and messages of care and concern for him. We can tell that prayers were answered. Thanks to everyone. Love, Susan "

My Dad

4 weeks ago my Dad fractured his spine. But he didn't know what was causing his pain at the time.
He was finally diagnosed last Sunday but couldn't get an appt to get it fixed until the 17th.
The pain however got so bad that Susan called an ambulance this morning
and he is now at Clovis Community. The good news is, they will do the Vertebroplasty this afternoon.
He's run over 30 marathons and I've never even heard him complain about sore feet so I know he's tough.
And he reminded me again today of that. I think he was trying to comfort me!
We are praying this procedure will work, and he will be relieved of his suffering.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Marriage

I LOVE the ending of this short little video.

Friday, July 13, 2012

And so the fun begins....

Jessica:

"I ran over a cone. No big deal right? It's not like it's a person."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Have you seen The Artist?


Even though it was picture of the year, I didn't think it would appeal to us. 
I love dialogue. I love it so much that I could listen to people all day long. 
Even people I don't know. So when I heard this was a silent film, 
I thought I'd pass on it.

Then Tyler sent me an email highly recommending Den and I see this. 
How could I resist Tyler? But that was before I learned it was no longer in the theaters. 
Den and I have not been blessed with attention spans for movies in our home
so I didn't see us watching it anytime soon.

Then last night I came up with a plan.
First, we went to Redbox and actually checked The Artist out. 
We had to ask one of the other customers how long we could keep it for.....
thinking it may take us days before we get around to watching it. 
When this guy said we had 24 hours we thought we better get right to it. 
(And btw, when did movies go down to $1.20 a night?)

So I told Dennis not to worry, we would just watch this movie in 15 minute increments, 
taking 10 minute breaks in between.
I set the timer. 
15 minutes later I was off to clean the kitchen and he went back to his computer work. 
Then we met up again, for the next 15 minutes. At the end of that round,  
Dennis said, "Wait, I want to see a little more first." 
That's when I realized we were hooked so I turned off the timer,
and we watched the rest of the movie.

It was captivating and beautiful.

Really have you seen this? It's wholesome, no offensive words. No words hardly at all.

I came away with two main messages:
1. No one really needs to be a "has been."
Time does not stop progressing, and neither should we.

2. There was a clear message of kindness and loyalty. 
A young star did not forget the man who helped her become. 
She never got so pumped up that she forgot the kindness and help done to her. 

I love movies with heart. I think that's what I look for above all else. 
I admit, I did miss dialogue. But really, it was a treasure all its own.


Next, I would like to see People Like Us...Has anyone seen that?
Is it any good? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Devin

Den and I got to see this Devin Ashcroft  leave for his mission today.
Or so we thought.
His Mom along with the rest of us, 
watched Devin walk through the scanner and then on down that long hall. 

This is where Den and I went home.
It wasn't until later on tonight we read what his Mom wrote on Facebook:

"When Devin walked out of the airport he said it felt like he'd hardly been gone. Ha ha.
It's amazing how things work out. His flight at 12:45 had been overbooked and no one volunteered 
to go on the later flight so they bumped Devin to the 4:45 flight. 
For his inconvenience  they gave him $1000! Also, he had been too nervous to eat in the morning, 
but by then he was hungry and we went out to eat. 
Then, his glasses which we ordered last week hadn't arrived yet in the morning, 
but they got in later so we were able to pick up those on the way back to the airport at 3:30. 
Then, after Devin left and I went out to the parking lot at the airport, 
I was able to help a man jump start his car. So, it all turned out to be a blessing."


Sounds like those missionary blessings are already starting to pour in. 
Before he even left!

Devin will spend a few weeks in Utah in the Missionary Training Center,
and then on to Billings, Montana! 
McKenna's parents live in Montana and I know they will absolutely love him!

There's Devin not quite looking like a missionary yet in his clown suit.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Talent of a 5 and 3 year old...and a link

My favorite part of July 4th last week was our talent show.
I tried literally HOURS over the weekend to put together clips of it to show here
only to be told over and over again that my files were "corrupt." Whatever.

So this morning I tried just putting 2 acts together, and it worked!

First is granddaughter Rachel, age 5.
She was SO excited about this talent show that she practiced A LOT.
She made it up, all by herself!

Next is grandson, Jonas, age 3.
This was major serious for him.
(please ignore his nose.)



Don't go yet.  
Take a look at what my son Brock put together to represent our 4th.
His creative talent never ceases to amaze us.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The party that didn't want to end.

Keep in mind this was at the very end of our ten hour 4th of July party.
Brock and Erin had just left to put their girls to bed, and we cranked up the music for one last dance.
It was about 11 pm, and we were all rather loopy.



Here they last night taking the northern route so they could take the kids through San Francisco!

Before they left our home yesterday morning they were trying to decide whether or not to go to SF. 
One Mom leaned towards a YES and one Mom leaned towards just wanting to go straight home. 
So Dennis reminded them they have 2 cars and they didn't have to make a joint decision. 
Then Ryan said, "No we don't separate. We are one big family." 
That pretty much sums it up!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

One just never knows what a day will bring

We said our goodbyes to Den's "little girls", Kim and Kris, and their families....


Then we came into the house with our teary eyes, and cleaned...
(which is a tradition after our kids leave)

About 2 hours after both families left here to head home, 
we got a call. 
They witnessed a horrible crash right in front of them. 
Ryan and Mike were the first on the scene as you can see:

Mike giving the report to the highway patrol.

Whenever we travel and I see an accident, it is humbling to think whoever was in that car, 
was just like us a few moments ago. 
Then in an instant they are hurting, or headed for surgery, or dead.

All we can do now is pray for these unknown people. And feel so grateful our family was spared.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Look what's happening 3 miles from my brother's house

In Alpine, Utah. 3 miles from Richard and Wendy's house.








This would be a little too close for me!

What an adventure for Miss Hailey, visiting Chickie and Papa.

I'll tell you about our 3 day party here, later.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Austin dancing at EFY

Can't leave this one out....
Austin dancing at EFY !






And here's a quick clip of Kylie (she's in the orange.)



Wish I could have actually been there!
But you can tell, it's not a Grandma place.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Girls reporting back from EFY

Our granddaughters,Kylie and Jessica, just got back Saturday night from EFY (Especially For Youth)....
so we interviewed them a little about it, with Amy in the middle.



AND....don't miss this one of Jessica singing at the EFY talent show.
I've listened to this so many times, I've lost count.
 I can not get enough of her gorgeous VOICE. 



Tomorrow Den's daughters Kim and Kris and their families all arrive. We will party hearty! 
(My favorite way to party is to watch our kids party together.  :) 

Stay tuned for Austin's dancing video soon. He's one uninhibited boy/man on the dance floor!