Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Swim Team and a Vistor

Swim team has been great this year. Yeah the meets are hot and long and we dread them sometimes, but it worth seeing the kids active and outside. 

 This was a relay meet at night. A storm blew in and we thought it would be canceled but it was fast moving and they only started 1 hour late.
 Remember my friend I visited in Kentucky? Well I was thrilled to hear she was coming to visit me before she settled in their new place. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of us together, but these will have to do. She is a wonderful hair dresser and was so nice to give everyone a trim!

 The last swim meet is in San Manuel and the kids did well. Anders got 2 3rd place medals for his team relays plus a few 6ths and 7ths.
 Lilly swam her heart out in breaststroke, cut 9 seconds off her time and came in first! The second place girl in this photo had the top times for the summer and I don't think she was expecting Lilly the underdog! She doesn't look too happy on the stand.
The Coolidge Dolphins

They threw a end of the summer swim team pool party which was fun. Ivy aimed to impress everyone with her flips and dives off the diving board. She was really showing off when she decided to jump off the diving board then swim halfway across the pool. I think we will put her in swim team next year.

Friday, July 11, 2014


I have wanted to visit my h.s. bff for a long time now. So I finally asked Aaron if he would be willing to let me venture off by myself. To my delight he said of course . So I nervously bought my ticket a few months in advance and waited patiently for my trip to come. I felt very selfish asking this of Aaron and was also anxious about the upcoming trip. I was also praying that all went well with our family and no illnesses or injuries came up. 

Everything was going fine until about 2 weeks before, Mayble and Ezra had a case of diarrhea for about a week. Then Mayble got a high fever and was very sick for about a day and a half. Her fever lowered and she seemed to be getting better but I noticed that she was swollen and red behind her left ear and she was very sensitive to the touch in that spot. We looked online to see if we could figure it out and the main problem that we saw was called Mastoiditis. It can become a serious problem if left untreated so we took her in to rule it out. The pediatrician almost instantly told us she had mastoiditis and made an appointment with and ENT right away. He mentioned surgery and seemed very concerned which also made me very concerned. He couldn't tell us much about it, because it is such a rare thing and he never has to deal with it. Maybe once every 4 or 5 years!

So we see the ENT that day and he was much more calm about it and explained a few different options. Basically mastoiditis comes from an ear infection that bursts back instead of forward causing the mastoid bone to become infected and inflamed. Hers hadn't leaked too far so he suggested either trying antibiotics or a tube to drain it. Luckily I think her infection kind of contained itself. What is funny is she had shown no signs of an ear infection and seemed to be getting better and happier after that initial high fever. The scariest part is that this condition can lead to meningitis. So being the weekend already and not wanting to risk meningitis or anything more serious we opted for the tube to drain it. I was very nervous especially with her being put to sleep. She was not happy with all the doctors and being out of her comfort zone. She screamed most of the appts and especially the day of the surgery. But luckily it took about 4 minutes from the time the took her til she was back in my arms again. The ENT said it popped like a pimple and she would be back to normal soon. 

He was right, her ear improved within a few days and she seemed to be on the mend. I was still so stressed getting ready to leave though. I was afraid something would happen when I was gone. 

So the day came. We picked up Maggie right before I left and I said goodbye with tears in my eyes. Mayble was with us so that made it even harder. The plane ride went fine. It was about 7 hours of traveling. I met a few people and felt woozy about half of the time, but overall it went well.  I had a layover in Atlanta and I could not believe how busy that airport was. It is the main hub of Delta so that is why. 

 I got there 1130pm Sat. night and we stayed up until 3:30 talking and catching up like we were in h.s. again. It was so incredibly good to see her again! We were inseparable back in the day. She is the extrovert and outgoing one and I was the more shy introvert. She is hilarious and could always bring out my fun side. She was also my spiritual rock and she was always there to lift me up and make me feel better about myself. We wanted to do what was right and there was no peer pressure to do anything but that. I couldn't have had a better friend than her. There was 8 of us that were the best of friends. We did everything together and supported each other with all of our extracurricular events. They were always there at my track and cross country meets cheering me on. We tailgated, and traveled to football games together, cheered for each other at assemblies. We went to stake and school dances, did service projects and worked together. There was girls camp, proms, frolics, firesides that where bore our testimonies to one another. We always switched off houses and ate lunch together. Most of us served on the seminary council and planned numerous activities together. We were there for each other when we each had our personal trials.

Some of my favorite memories are going to church events with each other. Hot tubbing on a cold winter night watching the stars, playing cops and robbers, ice blocking at EAC, swimming in the back of a pickup while we drove down main street, the endless games and date nights together. (Most of us hadn't even kissed anyone else til we were out of high school, ha!) Lisa and I would giggle together during classes and firesides. There was always something funny we were talking about. Going to Mt. Graham and playing in the snow was also super fun since the mountain was only about an hour away. My favorite was when Preston and the guys would go to the mountain and bring back a truck load of snow. Then they would surprise each of us by coming to our houses and bombing us as we opened the door. They we would go along with them to the next house. It was endless fun and I could go on and on. I really miss those relationships. At that age you think you will be best friends the rest of your life! Seeing Lisa reminded me of those carefree days....
 So I went to church with her the next day and was in awe as we drove. Beautiful green everywhere!
 This was what was happening behind her church building. A gorgeous field with a little stream and big trees. I'm sure it was effortless grass unlike AZ. Lisa has 3 adorable boys whom I was thrilled to finally get to know. The were so sweet to me and I enjoyed being in their company. 
 Lisa took me for a drive and showed me all of her favorite scenic spots. Lots of fences and horse properties everywhere. I don't think I saw dirt that entire time. 
 I loved all of the old barns
 There were big established trees everywhere with canopies reaching over the roads.
 I'm a cat lover by nature and was thrilled to find out that Lisa has a cat! His name is stubs or stubbies, or stubbikins, lol. It was funny watching the kids play with him and call him all of his hilarious names.  He payed me a visit every night and would scare the crap out of me as he attacked my dangling arm in the middle of the night. 

 Lisa took me to Natural bridge. It is a bridge that was formed over time. We hiked most of the morning. You had to go through this passage that I like to call the Lord of the Rings passage.
 This I think was standing on the bridge. 
 There was a lift that we took down. It was beautiful!
 If you look close, this is a rock where you throw your hair tie as you ride down. There were thousands of hair ties.
 Then you ride back up the steep cliff!
 We are standing on a rock called "lovers leap" and you can see natural bridge in the back.
 She took me around town and showed me all of the old, big brick houses that I instantly fell in love with.

 We went and saw Captain America on my birthday. It got out about 9pm and we started to walk around the little shopping center before we realized everything was closing for the night. I half jokingly said, "Well I guess we just have to go see another movie!" And she promptly replied by saying, "That's what I was thinking!" So we went and saw the 10pm Amazing Spiderman 2 which happened to be in 3D!
 I love her zebra shoes!
One of the last things we did was go to Old Kentucky Chocolates. They had boxes upon boxes of chocolates to sample which they forced upon you until you couldn't eat anymore. They had this little old lady who I think was just there to stay busy and she kept saying funny things and messing up orders ha ha! Behind us is a chocolate horse (which I noticed had a lot of lick marks on it, lol).

I always wished I would have taken more pictures. I got a few videos and some more scenic one of my runs. I was there a full 4 days and my other 2 days were purely traveling. It rained a couple of afternoons and the weather was in the high 80's so it wasn't bad.  My dear friend is now moving to Oregon and I look forward to visiting her there once they are all settled in a few years.

I had a great time and I felt that we really rekindled our friendship. We stayed up late most nights just talking and looking at pictures.  I am of course grateful to Aaron for taking the week off and watching the kids, which is a feat in itself. It was really good for me to take a break for myself (and get a break from every day life) and re-evaluate my role as a mother and wife. I came back refreshed that is for sure! Thanks for a great trip Lis!! I look forward to seeing you again!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's been a while

 Summer has been off to a great start. The summer reading program at the library is always a good incentive for the the kids to read!
 We had tons of volunteer garlic from last seasons crop. These were all the garlic that weren't pulled and then sprouted and grew on their own. It was a good thing too because we didn't plant and we love our fresh garlic! Anders and I went out and pulled it all one early morning. Then it sits and dries for a few days before we clean and refrigerate it.
 This is our new pup Maggie the hound dog. 2 days before I left for my trip to Kentucky (another post coming soon), our little Dachshund, Taffy, of 8 years was hit by a car in front of our house. It was graduation night and there was lots of traffic on the road. She happened to get out. We had to tell the kids the last day of school when they got home. So sad! She was a good dog and I'm sad she had to die that way :( So Aaron set off on craigslist for a new family dog. We found Maggs in Tucson (where I was flying out) so we picked her up before  he dropped me off at the airport. I could hear Mayble crying and Maggie howling as I walked off. That was probably a fun trip home! She's been a frustrating pup. She requires the usual puppy attention and she loves to bite and rip the kids clothes and chase them like crazy out in the yard. And she loves to howl at me when I tell her no. Yeah, the puppy stage is torture. Oh and she won't run with me! What kind of dog is this! I have my fingers crossed that she will grow to be the protective, loving dog we hope for.
 We were privileged to have the Elmer boys over for a few days. It was amazing how they calmed my kids. Hardly any fighting went on for those days. 
 Summer means water! We set up a tarp at the end of our double slide and had the water running down. It has been lots of teeth ripping fun!
Yes, somehow he ripped his tooth up and out going down the slide?
 Little Kingston decided to join us a little early. He is the sweetest babe and we love to oogle over him whenever we get the chance to see him.
The Hansen Family camping trip is always anticipated every year. Filled with zip lines, and motorized fun provided by Aunt Holly and Uncle Bryce.
 Skit night!
 The highlight is the cousins putting together skits and performing for us.
 The boys made the coolest fort out in the woods. Dan Storms in the making!

 Swim Team

Father's Day
 My dad had the funniest shirt on, plus I think he looks like Chevy Chase
 I took the kids over to my parents one Saturday. Ivy, Elsie and Ezra are in swim lessons and doing very well, so I figured they needed a fun day. Ivy was pretty much swimming on her own after a couple days of lessons. She is a regular fish now. 

So that is our summer so far. I have lots to catch up including my Kentucky trip and Independence Day!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Juice Fast Day #6 You will probably get tired of reading the word juice.

I have been wanting to do a juice fast/cleanse for years but I have always been pregnant or nursing. I was going to start the day after Mayble's birthday which would be the 7th, but after talking to my sister in law who has done them before, I got pumped up and started last Monday. This meant I had to cut off my baby a week early. It was bittersweet. I was really ready to have my body back after 7 years, but yet it meant no more little nursing bonding moments with her. I have been gearing her up so it hasn't been too bad. I'm letting her finish off whatever milk was left in the freezer so she's been doing fine.

So juice fasting is tough. I don't feel like I am hungry, but I am forcing myself to let go of everything that I have been eating for years that is so yummy. The trick is to drink juice whenever you feel hungry and that has really helped. And its not juice you buy from the store. This is fresh produce juiced every other day. We have a juicer that processes the produce in a way that  will allow the juice to keep longer.  Which is nice since I don't like juicing every day.

Here are some improvements I have seen already:
-My eyesight feels clearer
-I don't feel like a train wreck getting up in the morning, I wake up fresh and rejuvenated
-Flatter stomach
-My knees are not achy
-My face is super clear and blemish free
-My chronic back ache feels better every day
-Not as much congestion
-I feel energetic
-I feel happier (besides the times when I'm making dinner and just want to eat)

I am hoping to see a lot more good things as the days go on. I haven chosen to juice fast because I am not a perfect eater so I am sure I have some things I need to detox out of my body. Even the environment can attach things to our bodies that we need to get out. My goal is 30 days but at the minimum I would like to do 10-15.

The nights are the hardest when I am making dinner and it smells soooo good. I just try to make it quick and get out of the kitchen!

So even though it is really hard at times, I am excited to complete this task I have committed myself to. I will share more as the days go by!

Friday, March 28, 2014

A gnarly tooth, What the flu?, Insanity overview, walking girl, gophers, 12 years, birthday, and beautiful spring

So I finally finished the Insanity program and yes I did take a before and after picture, and no I am definitely not showing them on the blog! Here is what I thought: 
It was fun and definitely an intense workout. 
I was sore A LOT (which I love!). Even going back and doing the easier videos I would get sore the next day. This to me meant that the workouts were working.
There was not much of a difference between my before and after pic other than I looked a little bit toner. I actually gained 5 pounds meaning that I put on some muscle. 
BUT I feel stronger and I am the happiest with my arms and bum getting a lift. 
On the downside the program involves a lot of jumping and jerky movements and my knees have suffered because of it. 
Month 2 was torturous mainly because the workouts were an hour long (it is hard fitting that into my day with kids). 
Month 2 was more difficult but I gradually got use to it and could keep up.
Overall I am happy I completed it and I go back to the videos every other day to help keep tone.

 We were lucky to avoid sickness this past winter. And finally after months of me pridefully saying so, Elsie was hit with a bad case of the flu. It started one Saturday at a family baptism when Elsie crept onto Uncle Heaths lap and slept the whole time. For 3 days she had a 102-104 temp, would not eat/drink and slept constantly. I have never seen the flu so bad and I kept worrying it was strep and turning into something worse. She didn't throw up or have diarrhea but she had a pretty bad cough and tummy ache. I constantly was applying garlic on her feet and giving it internally, put every kind of essential oil on her, and forced her to eat and drink. She had very short, fast breathing and I was so worried! We kept her in our room on a little bed and I constantly attended her and took her temp. I've never had a child with a temperature so high for so long( I am not a believer in tylenol for fevers but I was very tempted towards the end). We made the decision to take her in and figure out what was going on and make sure it wasn't turning into something more serious. Strep and the flu both came back negative but there are so many strains of the flu, the doctor was pretty sure it was just that. So we were sent home told to just keep her comfortable and that her high fever was okay as long as we kept her hydrated. I actually felt better especially knowing it wasn't strep because I really didn't want to give in to antibiotics. And sure enough the next morning her fever had broke and she perked right up. If we only would have waited one more day! But I am glad we went for that piece of mind. She was really weak for about and week and still slept a lot and had a barking cough, but she gained a healthy appetite after that!
 This tooth was pretty much making me sick by the end. Anders was one of the only kids in his class who had not lost a tooth so he probably pulled this one sooner than it was ready. But he got it out and he is our little snaggle tooth now. 
 It was pretty  much going straight up and we tried yanking it out (not me mind you, I have major Odontophobia, yes there is an actual phobia that I looked up!) and this thing would not budge. 
 No sign of a toothling, but he can now join the "I've lost teeth" club at school.
 I have a sign that says, "Spring you seed, summer you weed". Not the case here, we weed all through spring.
 Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
 12 years and I still tolerate the shaggy hair and beard. But I sure married a good man.
 I love these perfect lighting pictures with all the green behind. 
 37 years young! I made him his traditional corned beef birthday meal and showered him with gifts. 
 It's gopher season again. This one was particularly difficult and obnoxious to catch. I'm sure we have a network of tunnels under our house and front yard. He caught another one today.
 I think she is going through a growth spurt.
 Notice anything out of the ordinary here?

 Ivy is fearless as usual. She out climbs her boy cousins. One day they sat puppy dog eyed at the bottom watching her.

Mayble is absolutely adorable walking around. My favorite age! I tried uploading a video but it would not work. We are also trying to wean which is torturous. She will be one soon!