Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Adventures Begin

Our summer is off to a busy start! We were fortunate enough to get into the first session of swim lessons. Even though we've only had a couple cold windy mornings, we're grateful to have an indoor swimming pool. The kids have done great! My only expectation was for them to build up some confidence and overcome a fear of the water. They are both swimming! They're not quite ready for the swim team but they are moving forward in the water, with purpose. Success!

(That's Zane, swimming with his face in the water, next to the swim coach.)

Last weekend Scott and I celebrated our 15th anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been that long! Scott was actually able to get the weekend off so we left the little ones with Brit and headed to Utah. (Morgan's first sleepover without me! She only got two canker sores and she slept good.)  

Scott was anxious to visit Smith and Edwards and then we made a stop at the Logan temple. The temple was busy with weddings and it was exciting to see families gathered, waiting for their brides and grooms to appear. We each ate our weight in Mexican food and managed to eat some Cold Stone Creamery ice cream as well. Then we went into food comas. Luckily we had a super comfy bed to sleep in. The next day we drove to Bear Lake and took the scenic route back to Idaho. Who knew there was a Paris, Idaho?

(Paris Tabernacle-

When we returned home Sunday evening, it seemed that our old dog, Tucker, was having a great deal of difficulty walking. Monday morning he appeared to be doing better and was on the porch as we left for swim lessons. He even joined us for a pizza picnic in the yard that afternoon. He's had a hard time getting around since he retired a few years ago, but on good days he loves to explore the yard and pasture or just follow the kids on their bikes.

Tuesday, Tucker was on the porch when we left for swimming, sprawled out in a patch of sunshine. He wasn't on the porch when we came home. Not too unusual. We weren't home long and then left again and we were gone most of the afternoon. When we returned for dinner, I saw Tucker in the yard and thought he must be feeling pretty good. Then I noticed he seemed to be struggling to walk again. 

We hurried and ate dinner and then took Morgan to the church for her activity. Tucker was still in the yard when Zane and I returned home and I wondered if he had been on the porch since morning. I walked up to him and he collapsed at my feet. Zane hurried and got his water bowl and I helped Tucker drink. He guzzled three bowls of water which confirmed my suspicion that he hadn't been able to get up on the porch.

Tucker was finally able to stand up and I guided/drug him to the trailer where he sleeps at night. He again collapsed in his bed, on his head. He weighs more than my children but I managed to get him straightened out and tried to make him comfortable. What to do?

We picked up Morgan and I was getting the kids ready for bed when Scott called. (He was moving cows in Montana and still on the road, four hours away.) I told him what was going on and he didn't know what to do either. Once everyone was tucked in, I crawled into bed, exhausted, to wait for Scott. I fell asleep around midnight and barely remember him coming in about 2:30. (22 hour work days really stink!)

After breakfast I made Scott come to the trailer with me. Tucker was barely able to lift his head and having difficulty breathing. Scott called the vet that comes to the ranch but he wouldn't be out for a few days. Too long to wait. I found another vet nearby and helped Scott wrap and load Tucker into the back of the truck.

And then I got the kids and we were off for swim lessons and scout activities and speech therapy and all the adventures of the day. But when we returned home, our fluffy door mat wasn't there to great us and wag his tail.

Friday, June 5, 2015


I can't seem to keep up on my blogging. 
But I have some good excuses!

In high school, I had a boss who would always say, "Excuses are like noses, everyone has them." He was right. So here are mine:

1. I feel like I can't keep up with technology. Things change and by the time I figure them out they are changing again. 
No! I am NOT old!

2. Time moves faster every day and so there just isn't time to do everything I want to. This includes blogging, reading, and washing dishes. 
I want to, but there just isn't time.

3. You will notice a direct correlation to the decrease in posts with the time we started trying to identify Morgan's learning challenges. I continue to spend A LOT of time researching her conditions and things I can do to help her understand this big, scary world.

4. Related to number three, I also spend a great deal of time taking sweet Morgan to therapies and helping her complete homework assignments. 
(I may or may not have typed her entire DARE essay. I'll never tell.)

5. I also try to make sure I am giving Zane his fair share of time and attention. I have to get him to football practice and scout activities. He is VERY patient and kind and often offers to help complete Morgan's homework as well. (He may or may not have helped her write sentences for her spelling words, on more than one occasion. Again, we're not telling.)

6. I also have to give Brittany and her family their fair share of my time and attention. This requires sending multiple text messages, face timing, and getting together with them as much as possible. 
It's a lot of work but our grandson is getting more ADORABLE everyday and we don't want to miss any of it!

7. My husband works crazy hours and so I must be ready to haul bulls, check fence, or purchase horse shoes with him at the drop of a hat. When he calls, I drop everything and put on my boots. I may not see him again until bed time!

8. Trying to help those living with an anxiety disorder can be a bit exhausting. It takes effort to always be the calm one. It also requires a lot of spiritual guidance. I find myself on my knees now more than I ever have before. 
And that's okay.

9. Teaching the Gospel Doctrine class in my ward also requires a lot of spiritual guidance. Although I don't teach every week, I find myself preparing and pondering and planning every day.

10. And just to make it an even number, I have dishes to wash. 
Always. Every day. The dishes are never done!

So, there you have it. My excuses. And now it's summer so I have a lawn to mow, swimming lessons, picnics at the park, and bike rides to attend to. I make no promises, but I will try to share.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Graduation Day

Have you ever been to an elementary school, end-of-year, awards ceremony where there is one kid in one class that seems to get all of the awards – highest math achievement, best reader, influential leader, and voted kindest by her classmates? The kid keeps going up to receive her certificates, the audience keeps clapping for her, and the mom keeps screaming “way to go” at every announcement. I’ve been that mom. I’ve had that daughter. I’ve beamed with pride and not even noticed the kids who received no awards.

Today I had the opportunity to be on the other side of this experience. Today I sat quietly as other mom’s cheered for their award winning students. Today I watched my daughter cheer for her friends while there was no award under her chair. From the three classes, 25 students were called up to receive an award for excelling in math and reading. I’m sure they all worked hard to pass up those benchmarks and I added my applause too.

In my heart, I wondered why there were no awards for special education students… My daughter didn’t meet the benchmark but she advanced almost two full reading levels this year. She didn’t meet the benchmark in math either but she earned her “B” grade with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. She didn’t have perfect attendance but the one day that she missed was because she was truly sick and not because she had a panic attack on the way to school. That is true success!

Morgan, you are my hero! Even though there isn't a room full of people cheering for your progress, your family cheers for you each and every day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hidey-Ho Neighbor

My kids LOVE animals! Morgan has wanted a brood of chickens since she was about 4 years old. Last year, she thought she had figured out how to keep a few as pets, in her bedroom. We've just never been in a place where it was feasible to have chickens.

Our neighbors have quite the barnyard! We were thrilled when they called and asked if we could care for the animals while they were gone for four whole days. 


They not only have chickens but also rabbits, goats, dogs, and two very pregnant cats. The kids were in HEAVEN! I think they would have liked to camp in the barn every night. The kids were eager to check the hen's nest every evening to see how many eggs were there. 
It was better than Easter morning!

It was great exercise walking down the hill to their home twice a day. And even I enjoyed puttering around the barnyard, conversing with the animals.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Where did you come from? Where did you go?

When I sprained my ankle last summer, I thought I would have all this time to post all of these wonderful things on my blog. But I found other things to do instead. When I was sitting inside, I would work on family history. When I hobbled outside, I would sit and play catch and help design relay races for my kids. When I felt real adventurous, I took them to the lake where I could sit and watch them play in the water. There was no way I was going to let an injury stop all the summer fun!

In addition to gymnastics, Morgan participated in the Summer Exploration event at the middle school and Zane played baseball. Morgan had a little whiplash from a fall when we were in Oregon so we also had regular visits to the chiropractor to treat her injury. (We all need bubble wrap!)

 The kids wanted to celebrate their birthdays at the Oregon Coast so we made another trip to Oregon. We had a great time at the ocean and Morgan decided she would like to live there and eat shrimp kabobs every day. We visited the aquarium, the science center, and an old light house. The kids loved exploring the beach and walking in the historic downtown of Newport the best. We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory to see how cheese was made. Yummy!

We went to a little family reunion and got to see relatives on my mom's side that we haven't seen in a long time. We also got to see my grandma one last time. We were even able to make a third trip to Oregon to attend grandma's funeral and see even more relatives. Summer was full of activities!

Zane had his eighth birthday which means we also had a baptism in September. It was great to have family travel to be with us, especially my parents who came all the way from Oregon. 
We had a wonderful weekend celebrating!

Summer ended and the kids went back to school, Zane started 2nd grade and Morgan started 6th grade at the middle school. Scott had a couple job interviews and I began packing boxes. In October, Scott accepted a new job and we moved to Idaho Falls. Fortunately, it was not too far away and it was still in Idaho and still close to Brittany and Levi.

Morgan is able to continue her therapies with the therapists that she knows and loves. She is also able to continue gymnastics at the same gym and with her favorite coach. However, the kids did have to change schools and Morgan went back to elementary school for 6th grade. She was bummed but it has been the best for her.

In November, Brit and Levi blessed us with our first grandson. He was born a few weeks early and had to spend a week in NICU but he is a trooper. He is the sweetest little thing you ever did see! 
Isn't it amazing that our hearts never run out of love?!

And before I knew it, Christmas had come and the year was over. 
Just like that!

With IEP meetings, and therapies, and sports, and activities, and my husband traveling for work, and a new grandson to snuggle it seems we are always running and I never take the time to sit and write. 
I will try to do better.