Thursday, December 31, 2009


This past week we have been in Idaho visiting family...mostly my Mom. This was an unplanned trip. My Mom had surgery about the second week in November and has struggled ever since. She currently is in ICU. I have been spending the last five days with my Dad by my Mom's side. Even though she is in the ICU she is doing remarkably well.

On December 6th I got a call from my sister, Brenda, and my Mom had taken a turn for the worse. We didn't know if she was going to make it. When I got off the phone that night, I couldn't breath. The thought of not having my Mom around was more than I ever want to imagine. That night she was transferred to a different hospital and put in the ICU. The following days she started making progress, we were all hopeful. Through text, emails and cell phones information was shared.

Then on December 21st Mom was basically put on life support. All my siblings that are in the area have done great trying to keep us informed. But, when you receive a text that Mom is on life support panic sets again. This is when we started to seriously consider making the trip to see my Mom.

I'm soo glad we came. When we arrived at the hospital on Sunday Mom was awake and alert. What a relief that was. She didn't look like herself at all. She was retaining water, yet I have never seen her so frail looking. She had a tracheotomy and was hooked up to a ventilator (helping her breath) receiving oxygen, on a feeding tube, and had a heart monitor, temp monitor and two other tubes for fluids. Very overwhelming. With her having a tracheotomy, she couldn't speak. We had to read lips. Such a challenge for all of us. She was so weak that she wasn't able to feed herself ice chips. The ICU unit basically kicks everyone out at 6:30pm. When we left I was in tears, she was totally helpless.

Over the next few days she has improved by leaps and bounds. She is feeding herself, has been out of bed, off the ventilator during the day, feeding tube only at night (to make sure she is getting enough calories), and is only connected to a heart monitor. Wahoo!!! Today they changed the type of trach she had and now she can speak!! I was soo excited to hear her voice again. No more reading lips!! Her Dr. has a goal to have her off the ventilator completely by Monday. Once she is off the ventilator she can be moved out of ICU. She then will need to focus on getting her strength back. That will require a lot of physical therapy. Not something she is looking forward to, but necessary.

I'm soo glad we made the trip to Idaho. I have been able to visit with my Dad, and do little things to help my Mom feel more comfortable while lying in a hospital bed. (I'll share pictures next week when we get home.) Through all of this I have talked to my siblings more than I have in the past 15+ years. Over the past few years I have felt a strong desire to know my siblings better. With having 9 brothers and sisters that can feel very overwhelming. But this last month has brought us together. I love them all very much. I hope we can continue to maintain this new relationship we have. We need to lean on each other more often. Family is everything!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Our day...

didn't start until 6:30 AM! That's a record for us. Usually the girls are up around 5 and we tell them to go back to bed until 6.
Carson got his Diego rescue pack from Santa, and Mason got 3 DS games, car charger and a carrying case.

Adam wasn't even bothered with the noise. All the kids eagerly opened up Adam's gifts for him.

Karlee received her very own hymn book with her name embossed on it. She was thrilled!

Carson gave Kinzie these pants. If lounge pants make Kinzie this happy, then her life will be great! She also received a pan set and cooking utensils from Santa. So practical but extremely necessary.

Bailee was so excited to get wool socks. It's easy to tell what makes her happy. She is going on a camp out next week with her venturing crew, through BSA. Santa brought her a compressed mummy sleeping bag, she was trilled!
One of my favorite gifts is the blue book next to Brian's arm. Brian put my blog in print!! I love it! I found this website months ago and put my two SIL's blogs in a book for Christmas. I have dropped hints many, many times, Brian came through. I've been flipping through it all morning. Bailee was even looking through it. When I first started blogging, I would get a little sad that I didn't have many comments. Now, I'm fine. I now do this blog for us, for memories. I've had many family members give me a hard time that I post a lot. They are right. I don't want to forget the fun we have. Most days are fun, with struggles in the middle. But I want to remember only the fun!
My SIL gave me this snow buddies tower. In 2004 I bought an ornament with snow buddies and there were only 6 of us then. Seven is a big number to find things like this. Thanks Holly!! I love it!!
I must be the coolest wife ever! Look what Brian got for Christmas!! He told me I couldn't say that because the truck is for both of us...sure it is. He is right, we did agree to buy this together. I wanted to put a big red bow on the top and take his picture with the truck. He has to keep reminding me it's not a Christmas gift, just something crazy we bought on Christmas Eve. OK, I'll try and remember it that way.
Bailee is all decked out. New shirt from Grandma, new necklace and bracelets from Kelsey (I think they went shopping together). And new boots to complete the look.

Carson received this cool set of knights with a fort that uses a shield for the lid to carry it and then there is a sword to use with the shield. Does that make sense? Many ways to play. The cape he is wearing came with a different knight set. Everybody know what he likes!
We got the family Band Hero for Christmas. It is hilarious! Bailee is very good with the guitar. Karlee is great at singing and the drums. Brian is getting better. It is so funny to watch him try to keep beat. He is getting better. The only reason I can laugh is because I'm worse. It it much harder than it looks. McKinzie was having a hard time also. Mason could play the bass, and did very well. It is soo fun! I recorded one of Brian...maybe I'll post it later so everyone can have a good laugh.
Look how hard they are concentrating. Now we can relax and play, then more relaxing. Enjoy the day with your family everyone!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

We enjoyed a yummy dinner that was prepared by all. After dinner was all cleaned up and after a little relaxing ...

we sang carols and read the story of Jesus birth.

Finally we made it to opening a present for everyone. Carson had been looking forward to this since last night. At first he thought he could open a gift after breakfast. Once he found out that is was after dinner, he was ready right after dinner and still had to wait.

McKinzie received a photo box and lounge pants from Aunt Holly.

Bailee received perfume and lotion from McKinzie.
Karlee opened up a necklace she received from Britt, a friend that recently moved to Illinois.
Mason got a robot from Grandma Shuldberg.

And Carson got a new cape and sword from Tyler, his cousin. I don't know if tomorrow's gifts can beat this one.
I had my camera ready and said Adam's name and this is what he did. I don't know if his smile could get any bigger.
The kids are in bed. Brian and I walked the dog, even in this cold weather. Now it's time for Santa.
Whew!! I'm tired!

5:00 PM

Yes!! Definitely a white Christmas! The kids have been out to play many times. It is cold and very windy. If we had more snow there would be amazing drifts!! I took this picture through the window. I didn't want to go out.

Merry Christmas!!

White Christmas?

Yesterday 75 degrees, today blizzard like conditions, tomorrow... a WHITE CHRISTMAS!!
Bailee is giddy as she watches it fall.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


As the years go by we add new and memorable traditions, sometimes we drop some. We started taking a family picture on the Sunday before Christmas when Bailee was born, 1995. I decided to look back over the years and scan a few in to add to my post. I was surprised to find a few years that we didn't get a picture taken, that made me sad. Oh well, life continues to happen. 1995


2001 The beautiful brown haired little girl is Skyler. We were foster parents while we lived in California. She is 9 months younger than Karlee and the sweetest little girl. She was adopted along with her little brother, which thrilled us that they would be together.


2008 I had to add last years picture. I was surprised I didn't already have it posted.

I'll have to find the rest of them and try and add them next year. We are so very blessed to have five healthy, beautiful children...and one perfect grandson.
This next set of pictures we started last year. Family home evening downtown to watch a movie and have dinner. And of course enjoy the Christmas lights.

This year it didn't turn out as well as last year, but still fun. We went to see Princess and the Frog, which was very cute. The kids loved it and Adam slept through the entire movie! McKinzie couldn't join us until dinner, because of her amazing job. (The downside to being an adult.) We ate at Razzoo's, YUM!! The best ribs in town, promise. We strolled around a little. I think mostly for me, I love Christmas lights. Then we went to Barnes and Noble and read books. McKinzie went home as we went inside the store. She is a tired mom and a good mom. She wanted to get Adam home and ready for bed. I try to keep myself alert to new and fun traditions. Family memories helps keep us close and wanting to spend time together as a family. I love my family!!
Christmas is almost here. Wahoo!! Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

class party

All the kids had a half day today! Yeah! Christmas is almost here!

At Mason's class party they made pine cone ornaments, and a water globe. They had pizza, cookies, chips and fruit. There was a lot of parent involvement, which was great!
First of many class parties for Adam.

After the food the kids played bingo. Throughout the entire game I kept hearing "I only need one more, I only need one more". They all wanted to win so bad. It was fun to watch.
It was nice to hang out at one class this time. I'll get to focus on one class party at a time this year and next.
Now Christmas break officially begins.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

new job

She is soo tired of me documenting her life, but she's still a good sport. I just had to get a picture. It's her first day of her first adult job. Kind of scary and exciting at the same time. Lots of luck Kinz! We love you!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Obedience brings Blessings

"When people follow the Lord, they prosper, they grow, and even though there are difficulties, the good things of life come according to the plan of the Lord." Elder L. Tom Perry, Liahona, January, 2004.

McKinzie is seeing those blessings. She went back to work yesterday. That same day, a friend called her and told her about a temp job where she works. McKinzie made a couple of calls yesterday, went in for an interview this morning, and starts tomorrow! The job is full time, daytime hours in an office. There is a great chance that it will turn into a permanent position with benefits. Wahoo!!! Way to go Kinz!! Now remember that obedience brings blessings everyday of your life.

Thanks friend for looking our for Kinz.

McKinzie just got off the phone...she's moving out!!! She was just approved for an apartment. The blessings just keep coming and coming!! Life is good!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Adam's mommy went back to work today. She didn't want to even though he's already 7 weeks old. Then again I don't know of a Mom that is ready to go back to work. I remember McKinzie only being 4 weeks old when I went back to work. She's soo spoiled!! This little boy is asleep in his swing, yet his arms are up. Silly boy!!

With Love

Last night for family home evening we made ornaments and snowflakes for Grandma's hospital room.

We're sending love your way Grandma! WE love you!!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Mason's second grade class is learning about Christmas traditions around the world. In class they are studying four or five different countries. The students then were able to choose a country that they weren't already learning about and make a poster about what they learned. Can you guess what country Mason chose? This ended being a family project. McKinzie helped him with the research online. Dad cutout the poster, very creative! Bailee helped him put the information on the poster, and I delegated. We all have to do what we know how to do :0). Great job Mason!!