Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Noise Guy and Night Swimming

Where has time gone??? We moved to the Valley a week and a half ago and it has just flown by! We have been very busy swimming once or twice a day, going to doctors appointments with my radiologist and trying to find relatively cheap things for the kids to do around these parts.
I was thoroughly bummed when my camera ran out of batteries this week and the special charger I have for it is packed away..... ahhh man!!! So I have missed quite a few photo opportunities!!! Words will have to suffice for some events.. but before it died, I did get a few pictures taken...

Something we enjoy here at the apartment complex we are in is the "Night swimming" we do most of the time. Starting this Tuesday, I will have to stay out of the sun because of radiation treatments, so night swimming will have to be when we do all our swimming.
Last summer I couldn't get Will to let go of me in the water. This year, he is much more confident with his life jacket on.

The other night when we went night swimming we brought a bunch of glow sticks, like the one Cassidy is wearing as a necklace. It was so fun to see them glowing in the water. Here you see the kids getting ready to jump for a ball that Morgan was throwing to them.
We have also joined the library summer reading program. The kids are reading left and right to try to earn prizes. Lund always checks out books about birds, he is truly fascinated by them.
Will really likes the prizes much better than the books, but he does like the older kids practicing their reading on him.
He is kind of a hard one to keep reigned in at the library. Sarah, on the other hand, would love to sit there and read for hours.
Like I just mentioned, Sarah has been reading like a maniac! I am soooo proud of her reading skills and sooo impressed that she can even read the scriptures at night with the family. She is amazing!! And her Kindergarten teacher needs some thanks for this milestone as well. Thanks Ms. Jones!!
We also went to the library to see "The Noise Guy". It was the greatest performance ever!!! This guy, who looks so unassuming, can make a million different noises with his mouth and he had the kids very, very entertained. From the youngest babies in the room, all the way up to the moms. So, of course, as we were leaving I bought his CDs and book and we have thoroughly enjoyed them.
Here is Will trying out a few noises of his own!
Here are all four kids intently listening!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Love

Sarah just LOVED the little boy who lived down the road from us in Bagdad and so the day that we moved, I took a bunch of pictures with just the two of them. They were soooo stinkin' cute together, they both had an INSANE love for animals, quite the pair!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Water N' Ice and Square Ice cream cones!

When we moved to the Valley o' the Sun, we realized what "water snobs" we had become in Bagdad. You see, in Bagdad, the land of milk and honey, all the water, even your toilet water is reverse osmosis water. So, we were used to drinking water from the tab (not the toilet), that tasted wonderful. When we moved down here, the kids weren't too impressed with the water situation. In fact, Will took a drink at the YMCA water fountain and immidiately spit it out and said, "Yuck, that water tastes like the pool!!" Too true, too true!! So, because we didn't want the kids to shrivel up and die of dehydration, we had to get creative. We went to Sam's Club and bought a beautiful water cooler, and that solved our problem really quick. In fact, it solved two problems at once. Will has been addicted to sippy cups full of milk FOREVER, but I decided to not pack any and the water dispenser is his favorite thing ever. he just gets himself a drink and he is so proud that he can do it himself, that he is not even realizing how much water he is drinking these days. Whoooooopiiiiieeeee!!
Yesterday Morgan was reminising about the "good ole' days when he used to go with his dad to Water N' Ice and fill up their water bottles." Well, as luck would have it, there is a Water N' Ice within walking distance from our apartment. So, yesterday we bribed the kids to eat their dinner really well, and then we walked over for some ice cream. And wouldn't you know it, they still have Thrifty Ice Cream, and better yet, they still have the square, (cylindrical really), ice cream scooper. And better better better yet, they still have my favorite flavor--- Chocolate Malt Crunch!!! My dad used to take us to the Thrify Ice Cream on Main streat and I got that flavor way, way back then. Good memories are always tied to ice cream!! (I think that should be written in vinyl on my wall!)
All right, all right, on to the pictures...
Sarah chose bubblegum flavor and loved the dissoving bubblegum balls in the ice cream. (why is it that they dissolve in the ice cream???)
My handsome hubby opted for Butter Pecan and Chocolate Malt Crunch.

Will opted to not eat his dinner, so he got a ten cent sixlets pack. You think he would learn his lesson, but no, he just played with rocks while we ate our cones.

My darling daughter opted for two scoops of delicous bubble gum as well, but next time she claims she is trying the Hawaiin Shaved Ice.
My cone was delish with bubblegum and chocolate malt crunch!! Yummm
Another bubblegum selection!

It was a wonderful night and we had some funny things happen on the walk over. I guess I didn't realize that my kids weren't raised in a city, so the crosswalk was an interesting experience for them. We went when the blue man indicated that we should walk, but a few seconds into our jog across the street, the orange hand started flashing. Well, Cassidy froze right there in the middle of the street in the crosswalk. We yelled at her to come on, but she yelled back, "I can't, the hand is telling me to stop!!!" he he he...
Then on the way back with our ice cream cones in hand, a car pulled up next to us as we waited for the light to turn. A lady yelled at me, "Hey, you are wonderful!! Look at me! (she had very short adorable hair and a hat on) I am four months out of chemo! Your hair WILL grow back!!! You are beautiful! Enjoy your ice cream!" and then she gave me five through her window!!! I am pretty sure I teared up a bit and the kids asked me why the lady was yelling at me... It was simply a beautiful moment of humanity at it's best!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There are rainbows after the storm!

If you couldn't tell by last night's post, I was really struggling yesterday. But, just like we have been promised by the Lord, there are definitely rainbows after the storm! Today was a beautiful day and even though it was just as busy as the day before and just as exhausting, I was able to see the beauty that was right in front of me all along. (oh, and I took a nap today too, that helps)
I am sooo blessed to be able to have the doctors that I do, and that my prognosis is good. This will just be a short time in my life and someday when I look back, it will seem very miniscule. But I am sure I will always look back and feel that I grew A LOT during this time. Today in the car as the kids and I were driving to my Radiologist appointment, Lund asked me why I was given cancer as a trial. I told him that if you had a good player on your team and you were the coach, would you want them to practice? he said that he would. I told him that the coach is just practicing me right now. he seemed to get my crazy analogy, baseball is something that he and I both have in common. And yes, I realize that I am a girl using a sports analogy to answer life's biggest questions, isn't that what guys do?
I am posting some of the awesome stuff that has been going on in our lives lately. Because there really are many, many awesome moments....
We have joined the YMCA and the kids are really enjoying the swimming pool. Almost as much as I am enjoying trying to get back in shape. I have a long way to go, but it feels so great to be started on the road to recovery.
Cassidy under the water mushroom thing.

Lund throwing a water ball at me, I am pretty sure I got wet right after this shot was taken.
Lund and Will playing together with his fishing net and little plastic fish. These are the moments I treasure... when they are actually playing together. This is the kiddos right after my Radiologist appointment. The wonderful nurse told them that if they were good while mom was back in the room, they would get a surprize. And boy were the kids surprized when they each were given their own chocolate bar. Man, I wish I got a chcolate bar too.... All I got were three painful tattoos on my chest. That is right, I now I have my first tattoos, and last!
On Sunday we ate dinner at my parents house and then my dad took us over to the Reparian Preserve right by their house. The kids loved it and Cassidy and Lund were taking pictures of the birds like crazy. Their new thing is taking pictures, but I not sure where they get that gene from..........hum...........
The whole gang. We left Will back at home with Grandma and Ryan. He didn't even realize we had left him until a half hour had passed and then he said to Grandma..."Hey I forgot to eat dinner, where is everybody?" (He didn't forget dinner at all, we had dinner a half hour before that)
Some residents of the preserve.
Lund taking pictures of the birds and Sarah asking the birds if she can join them and be a bird forever. (She is in a "bird phase" where all she wants to do is be a bird and fly)

I love this picture because my dad is teaching Lund how to use his camera and his "monopod" (A one-legged tri-pod)

Grandpa playing a game with the kids. Grandpa's are great, aren't they???!!
Will's new thing lately is building. He will build with whatever he can find...Legos, K'nex, blocks like the ones in the picture, playing cards, toothbrushes, sponges..etc, etc.
Here is a beautiful picture that Cassidy took in my parents backyard. She enjoys taking pictures and when we were walking at the Preserve, she took a picture and showed my dad and he said, "That looks great, you're really good." then Cassidy piped up, "I think the word your looking for is talented!" (humble too)
Sarah also loves building at Grandma's too. She also won't let me cut her hair, (Arggggg) and she usually takes out all the hairdo's that I do by this time of day.
We also took the kids to Krispy Kreme the other day because we found out that they get a doughnut per A on their report cards. Will and Sarah just got donuts that we payed for because Sarah doesn't have her report card yet.
But Cassidy and Lund were in heaven. Cass had three A's and Lund had two A's. Way to go kiddos!!!

Will really enjoyed the donuts and kept trying to hoard them, what a goof!!

And here is a picture of what we have been doing a lot of lately.... driving in the car. The kids don't enjoy all the driving (to the YMCA, to doctors appointments, etc...). They think everything is "really far away", or they will say, "we drove for an hour!" (not really). I think they are still used to a small town where everything is just right around the corner.

p.s. Another reason why this day was so great was because of all of your uplifting comments and support. And because I got two phone calls from friends I haven't heard from in a long time. They told me that they were thinking a lot about me lately and finally just decided to call. I think what they didn't understand was that they were actually an answer to my prayers. What a loving Heavenly Father we have!!!

Baldness (again....)

Hello all, this is going to be more of a journal entry really, but you can go ahead and listen in anyway!
I am sitting on the couch in our "temporary housing" with a blanket on my head because my head is very cold.. again!!! I was sooooo super excited that my hair was growing back again, even though it was baby fine. I finished my last chemo three weeks ago, so I figured I was in the clear. I figured wrong. A couple of days ago, my head started to hurt, my hair follicles really. (dejavu). And again the little bit of hair that I held so dear started to come out. I would have let it stay even with the falling out bit, but it was so blasted itchy. It felt like when you leave the salon after getting your hair cut and you just want nothing more than to run home and take a shower and wash all the poky hairs off of you. Well, tonight after my shower, I called Morgan into the bathroom and asked him to shave my head again. My tears mixed with the water as he faithfully shaved for nearly an hour to make sure it was done well. I don't know why, but this time it hurt so much more! I feel ugly! I feel like the cancer is trying to take away any beauty I once had! I sat here and watched Stephanie Nielson's Mormon Message called My New Life or The New Me or something..I forget. Anyway, she says an amazing quote on that beautiful message. She says, " I am not my body!" And that made me feel a whole lot better. Thank you Stephanie!
In other news, good news even, I went to my Oncologist today and he smiled and told me that I did an amazing job getting through chemo. He told me that I have my life ahead of me now.... Of course, I am not done seeing him, nor will I ever be, but I don't have to get my blood drawn every week, nor do I have to get poison dripped into my veins every three weeks. Great news!
Tomorrow I will meet again with my Radiation Doctor. Radiation will start next week and I will have 34 sessions so I will be doing that for 7 weeks. Then onto more reconstruction...etc. etc. But all in all, I am on the up and up now! Life is grand.... I just need to see myself as the Lord sees me.... As a beautiful daughter of God!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Here's the edge of the Earth, and here is me falling off it...

For those of you who think that I have possibly (again) fallen off the face o' the Earth... Well, it is almost true because our life has been a bit topsy turvy lately! We finally made the move from Bagdad to Gilbert, Arizona and it was a very emotional move for us. In Cassidy's own words, "Mom, you are ruining my life forever!!!", which is pretty much how she is feeling right now. She will adjust at some point, but she is leaving behind the best friends she has ever had. In fact, all the kids are leaving behind the best friends they have ever had and pretty much the only home they can remember since we have lived in Bagdad for six years. When we moved to Bagdad Sarah was only 10-months-old and Will was still a twinkle in our eyes. Cassidy was about 6 and Lund was 4....
Well, here are a bunch of memories from the past week or two...
A bunch of ladies in town had a Going Away Lunch for me at the park. Lots of friends and food, what more could a girl ask for??

And here are all the ladies toasting me with their Martinelli's and a smile!!! I love you ladies!! I have made some of the best friends I have ever known in Bagdad and I will always remember the closeness and love from these gals!
Lund played in his last game before we moved and he made an AMAZING catch to finish off his season. Here is a picture of Lund with one of his coaches, Christian Pacheco. His coaches were sooo amazing and they really helped Lund build some self esteem this year! thank you coaches!!!
Here is my big man out in right field just about to make an amazing catch!! The boys on his team were so excited when he caught the ball, one boy ran up and hugged him right in the middle of an inning. Then after the game was over instead of saying "One....two...three.... Diamonbacks! they hollared One....two.....three.....Lundy!" He was on cloud 9 or maybe even 10. Thanks boys!
Here are the girls in the stands watching Lund play ball. Cassidy, Sarah, and Tatum.

Instead of a bat, he was holding a Snickers bar....wierdo!
Cassidy watching Will and Sarah play in their last game! Cassidy, you are such a trooper and my friend in the stands!
Then, we had to get Dot ready to move, so we "watered her" for a while before Morgan transported her down to Phoenix to my sisters house temporarily until we get into our house. If you are wondering why you would "water" a tortoise before you travel..... well..... it makes them get everything in their body out before getting into the car. sorry, gross info I know.
Then, one night before we moved, Will decided that everyone needed to wear sunglasses while they were sleeping or "smoke glasses" as he calls them. Getting them on Sarah was a snap since she is a very deep sleeper, but I found him arguing with a sleeping Cassidy while trying to put them on her face. A very funny argument indeed!

Then, he put his own sunglasses on and conked out. What a goof!

And before he went to bed, he also climbed up into the cupboard and found children's Tylonel and dumped the whole bottle on his sisters bed. I freaked out because I thought he drank it all (um... re-run because that is what Lund did at 4-years-old. ), but i was excited when I saw it all dumped out on Sarah's bed. Crazy, but true!
Another cute Will idea...tape all the bullets to the guns so you don't lose them.