Thursday, May 1, 2014

Broken Heel

On April 23, I finally took Tyler to see a podiatrist and got quite a surprise!  Let's back up a few days to April 13.  We had just left church and Tyler told me his heel hurt really bad.  I asked what had happened, and he told me he jumped off a wall.  I should have asked what wall, but instead, I imagined a small retaining wall.  I just told him he had probably bruised it and lets wait a few days.  I thought nothing more about it until April 22.  Tyler told me again that his heel hurt and he couldn't put any weight on it.  Well that night, he had a belt test in Kyuki-Do, I was watching him closely, and sure enough he favored it the whole time.  Also at school they have been training for the Wellsville mile, and he had ran the mile 6 different times!!!  Oh my goodness, he must have a high pain tolerance.  His mile times were all really good as well.  One of them, he ran in under 7 minutes!!!

Back to the doctors visit now.  Upon examining Tyler's x-rays, Dr. Rigby says, "Let's get him in a cast and he can't put any weight on his foot for three weeks."  WHAT!?!?!?!  I was shocked to say the least.  I fully expected the doctor to tell me it was in fact a bruise and we would leave with a boot for Tyler to use until his heel felt better.  The little stinker had spider climbed up to the top of a building, decided it wasn't that high, let go and landed on cement.  That version of the incident was so much different than the one I had originally imagined.  Had I known that detail, we would have gone to the doctors on April 14.

As far as his injury goes, he broke his growth plate on his left heel.  Thankfully, his growth plate did not slip!  He is so lucky since I made his walk on it for close to 2 weeks.  YIKES!  I am not sure I will ever live this one down.  I will always be known as the mom who made her son walk on a broken heel for 12 days.  He will be in a cast for 3 weeks, and then downgrade to a boot for another 2-3 weeks.  He should be all healed up just in time for summer to begin!  Yay!!!

Home Makeover!

Shortly after coming back from spring break, our kids' caseworker called to let me know that their aunt was in the process of getting custody of them.  They moved in with their aunt on April 18.  It was a bittersweet. We love these kiddos and want what is best for them.  The girls were so excited to move in with their aunt how could we not be happy for them!  Tyler sure misses having an older brother figure and a constant video game buddy.  Maleina misses having a friend here all the time to play with.  Overall, we are getting back into a normal routine, until our next placement arrives anyway.

After going from 5 kiddos down to 2, I now have some time to tackle some home improvement projects.  I decided to start with the bathrooms.  here are a couple of before and after photos of them.  I have another project in the works, but it is not completed yet.  Hopefully, I will have it done in the next couple of days.
 After downstairs bathroom (I forgot to take a before shot, it was bing cherry red).

 Before upstairs guest bathroom.
After, upstairs guest bathroom.

Before-pantry door.
After-pantry door.

My sister-in-law, Shae, has been trying to get me to paint my pantry door for months now.  I finally decided to do it when I had the paint out for the upstairs bathroom.  I really like it, and I found a fun butterfly knob that matches the color of my accent wall in my kitchen.  It was also her idea to add the stripes in my bathrooms.  I love how they both turned out! 

Trip to visit Grandpa & Grandma

Over spring break, I took Tyler and Maleina to visit my parents in Fair Oaks, CA (a suburb of Sacramento). The kids are troopers on long drives like these.  To prepare, I make them their own Road Trip snack bag, and I make Road Trip landmarks.  You can find the links to these here and here.  These really help keep them entertained and stops the, "How much longer until we get there," questions!!  I had a heavy foot this time around, and the construction was quite minimal, so I made the trip in 10 1/2 hours!!

The weather was quite chilly while we were visiting them.  We saw the sun a few times, and rained the rest of the time.  We couldn't complain about it though, because they REALLY needed the moisture.  To occupy our time there a midst the rain, we went to see the movie, Mr. Peabody and Sherman.  We enjoyed the movie and spending time with Grandpa and Grandma.  Afterwards, we went to dinner at Island Burger.  If you ever have a chance to eat there, I highly recommend it!

One of the highlights of our trip was going to Palo Alto and San Francisco.  Maleina had been saving up her money for nine months to buy herself an American Girl Doll.  They have a store in Palo Alto, right across the street from Stanford.  Maleina had a blast choosing her doll.  There were so many choices.  She finally decided to get the doll of the year, Isabelle.  Isabelle looks just like Maleina, minus the freckles, and she loves her.  I have enjoyed making Isabelle a new wardrobe as well.

Tyler's dream car!
The weather was gorgeous in Palo Alto so we decided, with a lot of convincing, to head over to San Francisco and spend the remainder of the day there.  Since we had already driven/ran across the Golden Gate Bridge, we went down to pier this trip.
(Maleina photo bombed this picture of Tyler with Alcatraz in the background.)

Before getting wet up to their heads.
Tyler and Maleina wanted to play in the bay for awhile.  I was completely on board thinking they would get there toes wet and be done.  The sun was out, but it was still chilly.  They definitely got there toes wet, and all the way to their heads!  I need to learn my lesson-when going to the ocean, pack a spare set of clothes!  While they were playing in the bay, I went to souvenir shops to find them some dry clothes.

After playing in the bay, we climbed/hiked up the hills to walk down Lombard street, the most crooked street in the nation.  I tried several times to get a picture to show how crooked it is, unfortunately, I did not succeed. The greenery was beautiful on Lombard street and it was fun watching cars navigating the tight turns.

To finish our day in SF, we ate clam chowder in sour dough bread bowls for dinner.  The soup was delicious!

As with all vacations, they come to an end too quickly.  We had the opportunity to spend 8 full days with grandpa and grandma.  We had a blast!  Our time was spent sewing, Just Dance battles, movies, reading, playing games, and just enjoyed being together.  We cherish these moments and look forward to many more!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Maleina's Birthday

As a family, we went and saw Disney's new movie Frozen just before Christmas.  Maleina LOVED that show.  She was singing the songs the minute we got in the car.  She decided that she wanted me to make her a Frozen cake this year for her birthday.  (Finally, I didn't have to to make another castle!)  About ten days before her birthday I got a brilliant (or not so brilliant) idea to make her a dress similar to the one Elsa wears in the ice castle.  What was I thinking!!!!  I bought the fabric, and patterns (yes I needed two) and got to work.  This was my very first time sewing anything more than a blanket so having to work with two patterns took a lot of thinking on my part.  After a some trial and error (which means A LOT of unpicking) I finally had the dress finished at 4:45 pm on the day of her birthday.  Phew, at least I wasn't late!

For her cake I decided to make a tiered slanted cake to give the impression that the characters were climbing up a mountain.  I had a lot of fun making her cake and trying something new.  She loved both her cake and her dress and they were worth every minute I spent making them.
(view from the front)
 (view from the back)
This picture is just for fun!  I found it on my camera and just had to post it.  I have no idea why she did this pose for Mark when he was taking photos but I love it.  She has such a spunky personality and she keeps me on my toes.  Happy Birthday Princess!!!

January in a nutshell!

January started off with a bang!  Mark's family goes bowling every year for the New Year.  I had to miss it because I had to take our teenager to make-up school.  The kids had fun and enjoyed being with their cousins.  I ended up with flu like symptoms on the night of January 1st.  School started for my eternal kids on the 2nd and  I wished I could have taken it easy on but two of our kids had a visit with their mom in town that day.  So I got the honor of donning a mask and wearing it around town.  My teenager had to go to make-up school on the 2nd also.  But of course they don't start at the same time.  So when I really wanted to be snuggled up in bed I was a chauffeur for 3 hours.

On the 3rd of January, my teenager called me saying his stomach hurt really bad.  I assumed he got hit with the flu.  I packed up the younger kids and went to pick him up.  When I got to his school, he looked horrible (I'm not trying to be mean...).  I handed him the 'throw-up' bucket.  He said, "My stomach doesn't hurt that way, it feels like someone is stabbing me."  Uh oh!!!  This is more than the flu.  I told him we could go to Instacare but he said he just wanted to go home.  I asked him when it started hurting and he said 2:00 AM!!!  I no longer cared that he wanted to go home, I was going to Instacare.  I called my friend to see if Tyler could get off the bus at her house since there was no way I could get home in time.  I am so grateful for her help!  What I hoped would be a quick trip to Instacare saying there was nothing to worry about, ended up being a quicker trip to the ER with a possible diagnosis of appendicitis. Sure enough, Instacare was spot on and he ended up getting his appendix out at around 7:30 pm.  I had all three girls with me, so Mark came and picked them up from the ER and took them with him to work.

Thankfully once his appendix was removed he was back to school on Monday as though nothing had happened.  He was so lucky to also get his wisdom teeth removed on the 9th of January.  Yes, one week after his appendix was removed.  He sailed through that as well and has been healthy since.

Mark on the other hand, he had a horrible cough that started sometime in December.  He finally went to the doctor the second week in January and got diagnosed with bronchitis.  The medication didn't take care of his cough, so he went back a week later, ended up getting a chest x-ray and wound up with a diagnosis of pneumonia.  He got new meds and was on the mend.  Then I got a cold which I so graciously shared with him.  Since his body was still recovering from the stress of pneumonia, he got it again and had to take a second round of medication.  Thankfully this time he didn't get another cold and the meds worked as they should.  I hope to never have another month like last month.  I am grateful for modern medication that helped us all heal. Even more so, I am grateful that I have a healthy family finally!!!

Fall/Christmas Update

Life has been so hectic and crazy these past few months I never seem to have time to update my blog.  Last fall was quite fun with Halloween, Tyler's Birthday, a trip to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and then Christmas of course, is always exciting.  

My family came up to visit in October.  We tried to get a shot of the grandchildren on my side of the family, but sometimes that just doesn't work out well.  I had to post this photo it was just too cute!!

The kids had dress like a Rockstar day at school for Red Ribbon Week. I love that Tyler was trying to make a 'cool' hand sign and unintentionally was saying, "I Love You!'  Shhhhhh don't tell him that.  Maleina is posing as the ultimate cool girl.  I didn't know what to do so just added a little bit of eye liner to their eyes and made their hair crazy.  They loved it!   They also got to run through the halls at school giving high fives to parents that were cheering them on.  It was pretty crazy, but I think the students had a lot of fun!

For Halloween, Tyler was some kind of Phantom.  He just really wanted a costume with a mask this year.  I miss the old days when he liked dressing up as characters.  They just grow up way too quickly!  Maleina is was so excited to be a witch this year.  She loved her costume!  Many thanks to my friend who gave it to me, it was a huge hit!

Tyler's birthday arrived pretty quickly after Halloween.  For some reason I keep thinking I have a 10 year old rather than and 11 year old.  I just want time to slow down for a bit.  The years keep speeding by so fast it is hard to realize that next year he will be a deacon.  YIKES!!!  For his cake this year, he wanted this guy called, "Slenderman."  I don't know much about him, I am told to look it up online.  Ya, like I have time for that!  Anyway, I tried my hand at painting on fondant.  He loved it and that is all that matters!

For Thanksgiving 2013, we took our FIVE kids with us down to my brother's house in Arizona for the week.  It was a lot of fun visiting with them and spending Thanksgiving somewhere fairly warm.  Well, at least warmer that Utah.  The first couple of days, I was grateful I had long pants and a jacket.  But towards the end of the week it was comfortable to be outside without a jacket.  My sister-in-law and sister, took our pictures for our Christmas card while we were there.  They have the most amazing parks that provide the perfect background!  Many thanks to them for taking our picture!

Christmas time was HECTIC!!!  Oh my goodness, I was running around daily from the time I woke up until I bedtime.  It was nuts. I thought September was busy, little did I know what December would be like.  We had a nice  Christmas with all our kids (yes, all 5).  I got some great pictures of them opening up presents, but for their privacy I am not allowed to post their pictures or their names on my blog.  My parents came the Monday before Christmas and stayed until December 30.  It was nice having them here and the kids loved getting to spend time with them. 

(Just after reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas')
 (Tyler's all about video games.)
(Maleina is hugging her new Monster High doll.)

It snowed a bit before Christmas, so during Christmas break we found some time to take the kids sledding to the most perfect hill near where we live.  It is big enough to have some serious fun, but not so big that you're worn out after climbing the hill once or twice.  By the time we went sledding it has turned to an ice hill and they picked up some serious speed going down.  Maleina crashed her first time down and I wasn't sure if she would get back up.  Thanks to my teenager offering to down with her a few times, she built her confidence back up and finally was able to go again all alone.  It was a blast, and even I joined in the fun!



My new tradition that I started in 2012, was turning my Christmas Tree into a New Year's Tree.  I take off all the ornaments from Christmas on December 26 and replace them with blow horns, hats, bling, noise makers, and anything party oriented.  Then on the 31st of December I blow up balloons filled with a prize inside and the kids get to pop a balloon every hour starting at 8:00 pm and ending at 12:00 am.  Tyler and Maleina love it!  Even my nieces and nephews enjoy it.  They all stayed up until midnight too!

(We missed two cute nieces in this picture)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Crazy last few weeks!

(Twizzleberry with my kids for successful SEP conferences!!)

It's been awhile since I last updated my blog and oh boy so much has happened.  At 4:45 pm on August 30, I was on my way to take Tyler to his karate practice.

Mark called me and said, "Did you know that there are kids on their way to our house?"
Me, "No, you're just joking around."
Mark, "No, I'm being serious.  I just got a call and they are in our driveway right now."

I turned around and went back home to an empty driveway.  Mark called back the case worker and gave them our correct address.

Mark arrived home and we had a total of two minutes to prepare our children that more kids were coming to stay at our home.  Just as we finished telling them what was going on, the state car pulled up with the children.  Our family grew that day by six feet that day: a 17 year old boy, 10 year old and 4 year old girls.

Bewildered, I looked at Mark for an explanation while at the same time he was looking at me the same way. You see our stipulations for age ranges were 0-9 not 17!  To be thrown into raising teenagers is shocking and quite a learning curve for all involved.

To make a long story short, a couple numbers in the cell number were transcribed incorrectly.  Instead of calling the family that was expecting these children, they called my husband.  The possibility of that occurring is slim to none.  (There are not that many foster families out there.)  I firmly believe these children are to be in our home with us at this time.  I don't know how the end will be, but for now Mark and I will raise these wonderful children as our own.  Heavenly Father definitely has his own plan for us even though it greatly differs from what I was expecting, He knows what is best for us.

To add to all this craziness, I was also on the Walk-a-Thon committee for my kids' school's fundraiser which took place in September.  The committee I worked with are amazing and we pulled off a successful event!  At times I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it I was so busy with our extra kids, teaching piano, maintaining a household, and the walk-a-thon.  By some miracle I made it and life is slowly returning to normal.

In school, Tyler did a report on Benjamin Franklin.  He has been wanting to write a report on him since the beginning of the summer when he found out he needed to write a one page report on a Great American Hero.  I loved how dedicated he was to learning as much as he could about Ben.  Tyler did a one-minute class presentation on Ben and didn't even blink an eye.  He definitely takes after Mark that way.  I would have been so nervous!  Part of the report was to also participate in the Living History Wax Museum.  The picture above was the pose Tyler held for 1 hour.  The only time he could move was when someone waved a hand in front of him so he could share his speech.

 Maleina loves jumping into hay!
 Getting ready to start the corn maze!

For some fall fun, I took the girls with me to a Fall Harvest Festival.  We went through a corn maze, the girls slid down a giant slide, ropes course, rode ponies, and shot a BB gun.  I sure had fun with them.