Wednesday, December 12, 2012

We have been so busy...

I have been a total failure at 'Blogging' and at keeping in contact with everyone. I apologize. I have been extremely- happily busy but also, admittedly, overwhelmed. It began this past summer when we had wonderful family & friends spend time with us due to the fires in Colorado. Then we quickly began to get ready for school to begin & Mom went back to work. Since then it has been a crazy busy ride with lots of happy moments and a few that have almost blown our socks off. About the time that the kids went back to school Rick was diagnosed with an Axonal Brain Injury. We have been dealing with emotional problems, memory problems, focus and temperament problems and almost total personality changes in some areas. We are not sure if it was from the accident in 2009 that he should not have walked away from at all, if it was from a fender bender in February of this year or if it is a combination of the two but the complications & side effects have taken a devastating toll on him & our family. We started looking into help right after the fender bender in February & are headed down what the Neurologist calls a' long, exhausting, expensive & very difficult road'. But we are happy to have a 'diagnosis' for what we have been dealing with and we are very happy to have a game plan or at least the beginning steps of one. We just wish it were a little easier to find & afford the help that we need. There are so many programs for people struggling with Brain Injuries but most of them we do not qualify for because we are not military and because the injury was not the result of military service. While we understand that it is so important to care for & heal our military who struggle because of injuries they received in serving us and our great nation, we cant help but wish there were a little more room in some of the programs for someone like Rick.
It was decided that with all of the stress of college, doctors appointments and just the day to day struggles Rick faces that he would no longer work , that he would try to just focus on college and recovery. So- I decided that I better look for something. We started praying for help to begin the 'job search' process & I was gifted an opportunity to put in an application with a local company 'Stat Apparel' that is run by my friend, Desiree, here in town. It is a Medical clothing, shoe, supply & gift store. I shopped for uniforms for Rick there long before I knew that I would ever be looking for a job and LOVED how friendly, well decorated & how well supplied the store was. I was more than excited to get the job there & have LOVED every single day of work- who gets to say that?!? I LOVE everything about my job from the same every day tasks like dusting to the challenge of meeting, talking to & helping people that I have never met before. I LOVE the inventory that comes in, I LOVE my boss & the days that I get to work with her & I LOVE our customers who become friends. It is the worlds best job and for once in my life I feel like I have found something that I am actually good at.
Between work, every day problems, Ricks injury and other things like our Minivan dying on us, Sarah being diagnosed with H-Pylori disease, my Kidneys struggling to function properly & the awesome things like my parents returning from Russia, family visits & kids visiting Utah and Florida I have failed to keep up. I will make a serious effort to do better. So... here are some of my favorite recent pictures as a peace offering for sucking at communication lately. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Photo Card

Believe in Christmas Religious
Heartfelt: Christmas photo cards and holiday cards at Shutterfly.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

What a morning!

We have had an insanely busy week and the past couple of days have been especially busy with doctors appointments, unexpected trips to the Vet and more errands than I care to think about on top of the housework and yard work that still hasn't been caught up on. Our puppy has had a runny nose since we brought him home so we put him on antibiotics Wednesday night. Friday morning he developed a terrible cough and by last night he was coughing so hard that he could hardly stay standing when he coughed. We were up with him all night. Rick wanted to be close to the puppy and keep a constant ear on him so the puppy slept in the entryway and Rick slept (kind of) on the couch.

 I had Kymball in my bed all night because she hasn't been feeling well and was really struggling to get comfortable. Rick was supposed to work at 5am but we were still dealing with sickies and were quite out numbered so he had to go into work late. After a wild morning trying to get things in order enough for him to leave he finally made it out the door to work.
Kymball inside the Dryer
Of course, 5 minutes after Rick leaves for work Ammon is screaming like I have never heard him scream before. I run into the bathroom thinking that I am going to find something terrible because his scream sounds so intense and I find him sitting on the potty staring down underneath himself into the water with tears running down his face. I asked what on earth was going on and he explained- in Ammon language that he was going potty all by himself, #2, that he is a big boy and that when he looked down at his success and squealed 'YAY' his binky fell out of his mouth and into the potty! I tried so hard not to bust out laughing at his devastation as I walked to get something to grab the binky out of the potty with.

As I am bleaching and getting ready to sanitize the binky my phone rings- thanks to the ring I know that it is Rick calling so I hurry over to answer the phone. I can barely hear him because the phone is cutting out so much, due to all of the storming i presume, but I can tell he is really upset. I immediately become concerned that it is work related since he went in late and begin to panic a bit inside. After asking a few times 'WHAT?!?' I finally get enough bits and pieces of the conversation to understand that he made it to work, parked the car and heard 'meowing' coming from under the hood of the car. He lifted the hood and found our kitty! The kitty was not hurt, thankfully, but I don't think Rick cared much as he now had to turn right around and drive the kitty all of the way back home and then drive back to work making him even later than he already was. My poor husband! the look on his face when he opened the front door and handed the kitty off to Rachel had us all in hysterical fits of laughter and snorting. He sneered at us, turned, got back into the Durango and drove away. We are still chuckling! He sent me a text demanding an adult only- animal free/child free vacation when my parents return from Russia. He requested a few days in Utah visiting family and friends, some good food, some hiking, a movie, a motorcycle ride and a Mani/Pedi.

All I can say is... 'Babe- you have more than earned it and I will see what I can do? Anyone want to babysit 5 adorable children, a puppy and a cat that may crawl up into your car this fall?'

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We have added 2 new babies to our family!

Sarah, Kymball & GEORGE
Living out in the country on a farm surrounded by corn fields, trees and ponds has blessed me with a totally different life style than any one that I had ever imagined. One of the blessings of having a farm and land seems to be the necessity of having pets. We have been without a 'Mouser' for a few years since I am allergic to cats and didn't get another one when our decided that it liked our neighbors house better. But Aunt Tiffany just happened to have kitties out playing in the yard the last time that we went to visit and the kids decided that they had to have one. She is a pretty kitty and meowed all night the first night that she was home with us. Kymball can hardly stand to not be within an arms reach of her and is in a constant state of tears when we wont let her into the kitty's area.

 Kymball wants to carry 'George' as she named her, around with her like a baby doll and hasn't quite realized how real & little the kitty is yet so we have to keep that closely under watch. We bought the kitty a few stuffed little mice and they seem to be its favorite toy so I am hopeful the transition to destroying real mice will be an easy one.

We loved our Cassie dog that passed away last summer after 14 years of walking the girls to school, playing in the fields, protecting us from stray dogs and barking at Grasshoppers. We were sad when our Lucky dog followed her a few months later- we think from missing his good friend. Lucky was a city dog that Ricks family had for years and that helped Rick through some rough teen years. Lucky joined us on our farm when Rick & I married. Lucky wasn't sure about the way things were out here in the country and spent the first few months barking non stop, luckily Cassie showed him the ropes and the two of them took to each other and became very good friends.

Rick & LUCKY
We have missed our dogs and have been very aware that both the friendly company and the protection a dog can provide a farm are missing. So it was time to begin thinking about getting another dog. Rick and I began discussing it a few weeks ago and figured that when the time was right we would 'stumble upon' the right dog for us. We have talked about our favorite qualities in Cassie & Lucky and how we hoped to be able to find them in another dog. Today- Ammon's 3rd Birthday we thought it would be fun just to look around at some dogs to see what was out there. We went to the Saint Joseph Animal Shelter because I have never been to a shelter and was curious about it. Figuring we had a few months of 'keeping an eye out' for the perfect dog ahead of us we casually looked round at some of the 1-4 year old dogs at the shelter. Then we rounded the corner and casually looked at some of the darling puppies. We casually walked along looking t all of the cute puppies until OUR puppy popped over to the gate and looked up at us. That was it. That was the one. There were 3 siblings in together and I knew which one was ours so we asked them to get it out and let it spend some time with us. Before Rick even had time to process what was going on I was almost done filling out the adoption paperwork and had paid for the puppy. Tomorrow we get to go pick up our newly neutered, immunized, micro-chipped and dipped black lab puppy to bring home to add to our family. I am really looking forward to getting to know this little one and even to training him to be the farm dog that I hope he will be. Wish us Luck!!!
Rick, Ammon & ???

3 Years Old Today!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMMON!!!!

I am blown away by the passage of time... How slowly some days seem to drag by and then you turn around and weeks, years even have flown by too quickly. I look at my now 3 year old Ammon and remember how desperately I wanted to get through the first few months of infant status. With the stomach problems, jaundice and constant screaming my poor baby son was a mess and I was exhausted. I look at this little boy- no longer a toddler running through my house, wanting to potty train himself, telling us all that he likes a puppy not a kitty and determined to do all of the things that the big kids do and I feel that I would give almost anything to hold my 'baby' Ammon and kiss his sweet little baby face for just a little while.

I love that Ammon runs everywhere that he goes. He doesn't walk anywhere. He yells when he talks and he cant sit still for a moment. He is all over the place moving from this seat to that even when he is engrossed in a cartoon. He LOVES to be outside and doesn't care how sweaty or dirty he is- in fact the dirtier the better. He loves to dig int he dirt, swim int he pool and help me pick blackberries- he eats more berries than he puts into the bowl.

Ammon loves fishing, camping and playing ball. He likes chocolate and will eat all of the fruit in the house if I let him. He prefers broccoli uncooked and will eat it without dip and even when there are other choices- which just baffles his father. Ammon is a fun brother and keeps us all moving and playing. He loves to chase Kymball and harass her and he and Gabriel keep one another entertained with lego, playing cars, wrestling & even fighting most days. Sarah & Rachel adore him and he has learned what looks to give them to get away with being super naughty. His new thing is to tilt his head to the side, put his hands up against his cheek like he is going to pray and tell us 'I Promise' in his sweetest voice. this has saved him from more than one spank.

He is my most favorite Ammon and has added so much life and adventure to our family. He makes us smile, yell and laugh on a daily basis and we would be completely lost without him. We love our trips with him to the zoo as he runs from animal to animal excitedly yelling about them as if he has never seen them before. I love when he crawls into my lap with his 'blankie' and his 'binky' and snuggles with me- even though it doesn't us usually last for very long. He is my most favorite Ammon and I hope that he has a Wonderful 3rd Birthday!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Water Fight!!!

Cousin Renae & her boys- Javier & Josiah came to spend the weekend with us this past weekend and it was a lot of fun! We had a BBQ, played in the swimming pool, ate yummy food, went to the movies, played the wii & had a water balloon fight. Cousin Renae- the awesome big kid that she still is- brought a life time supply of water balloons and pretty much wore herself out filling them all up & tying them all off for the kids to use. It took a good chunk of the afternoon to get them filled & ready and all of 3 minutes to use them all up- but it made for a lot of fun, a lot of squealing & giggles and for some GREAT pictures! Thanks Renae- Gabe says that you are 'so much cooler than Mom!'

The Babies Birthday BBQ

It was that time of year again... Birthdays & Warm Weather! I LOVE IT!!! Kymball turned 2 & Ammon is just a few days away from turning 3 so we sent out the invitation to family.

It was time for a BBQ. We bought the hot dogs, soda & burgers, Rick heated up the grill, cousin Lisa made the cakes, everyone brought swimming suits and a dish to share and the fun began!!! We had a little bit of rain at first- just long enough for the guys to get soaked while they tried to grill the food. Luckily the skies cleared while we ate.
 We were so blessed to have family drive in from out of state to join us and even stay the weekend so we were party central- or at least we felt like it. We sure missed our loved ones that couldn't join us & had some good laughs about all of the fun with them in years past. It was a wonderful weekend full of happy moments and I am so grateful for everyone that came to celebrate 2 of my favorite little ones. Here are some photos from the BBQ!

Ammon and Kymball had a lot of fun with family, swimming, presents and their own cakes. I don't think we had any problems getting them to bed that night. That is the way to go- good food, wonderful family, laughter & fun. Thank you everyone for making it such a fun day- Let's get together again very soon! We LOVE you!