Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our week at a glance........

We have done so many things in the last week, I feel the need to catch up on all the memories today. Morgan's parents got here last Monday and left today, so things are finally calming down around here and I have a chance to process all the memories made and love shared....

So, sit back and enjoy the Week at a Glance with me.........
(Here is Sarah and some adorable friends from church at the primary program practice)

Last Friday was the primary program practice at the church. I decided this year that bribery is o.k. when it comes to memorization. I told each of the kids (except Will), that I would give them 5.00 if they could perform their parts from memory on Sunday. Sarah had the 4th article of Faith and Cassidy and Lund each had parts that they wrote and were quite lengthy. I was really, really proud of them when they performed their parts flawlessly on Sunday!
Cassidy and some of her friends at church.
Doesn't this bring back memories for all of you.....
And, we also went huntin' for toads last week and found this HUGE one in our backyard!!!

And last Monday Will started preschool at Patterson Elementary School. Don't let this picture fool you, he loves his time spent at school!
Here he is waiting with his class. there are only 9 kids in his class, and I love the small size!
And when Grandpa and Grandpa got here, there were some fun items in the kids' goody bags!!!
he he he..... I love this picture! They look just like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday!!! Gotta love the wax mustaches and lips!

And after church on Sunday, Will came up to me wearing a "warm fuzzy" around his neck!! It was such a great idea!!!
And lately, if you can't find Lund, he is usually practicing the piano. He has been teaching himself a few songs and they are sounding quite good. The kids will start back up their lessons this week and I am happy for that!
Here is another picture of Will and his "warm fuzzy" and an apple he is eating straight from Angle's Orchard. Boy are those apples yummy!!!! Thanks grandma and grandpa for bringing them back from Safford!!

And on Sunday evening we had a BBQ at our house. We celebrated Grandma Karen's belated birthday, so here's Papa Lund giving her a "birthday kiss."
Here is a unposed view of everyone milling around having fun. The Garino's and Warren made it over. It was lot's of fun!
After dinner, we played "Just Dance" on the Wii and everyone really enjoyed getting their groove on!!!! Here is Chantel and Sarah going to town!
Even the boys would not be outdone. Here is Guilio and Lund challenging each other.
And a mom and daughter rivalry was bound to happen!!! Grandma Karen and Alicia were really great and performed all the moves with style!!
The were doing the "Mashed potato"!!!!

And just this past Monday, the bus started to pick Will up right here at our house. It is such an amazing service. Will and I just sit in our chairs and wait for the adorable little bus to pull up! I LOVE IT! Talk about front door service!!
I still can't believe that he is old enough to ride the yellow bus!!
Today, Cassidy had to get dolled up for a school project and when she was done, I couldn't BELIEVE how old she seemed!!!! Can she really be growing up this fast??????
Here are my gorgeous girls on Sunday right after church...... Sarah ran up to me right after church and cried, "Mom, the Bishop FIRED Sister Smith today!!!" I had to explain to her that a "releasing" in our church doesn't mean that you are "fired" and that Sister Smith has another wonderful job waiting for her at church. Sarah and Cassidy still went over to give her a hug because they knew they were going to miss her.

And we had a surprize visit from the Hulse family on Saturday and this is the only picture I have to prove it. Morgan with their 5th child, baby Eric. This is also another reason why I love my hubby.... because he just LOVES babies!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

We have got a nudist on the loose!!!

I am not quite sure what to do with this kid?! He is quite the streaker lately, and I am at a loss as to how to handle him.
In the first picture he had just taken a bath and he ran down the stairs dripping wet and yelled, "I am cold!" Then he ran out the arcadia door and decided to get some heat. He ran around in the backyard in the nude until we made him come in. I hope the golfers didn't mind!
Thank you Morgan for helping me "censor" this picture with your fancy computer skills!
Then this evening, I went with Lund and Cassidy to drop their friend off at their house. Let me set the scene for you, I was gone for only about five minutes and it was close to eight o'clock so it was dark outside. When I pulled into the cul-de-sac, I saw a small figure walking in front of our neighbors house in a robe or something. I told Cassidy and Lund that the shape was about the size of Will. When I got out of the car, Will yelled from three houses down, "They put this one me so no one will see my privates!"
Oh my goodness, it WAS Will! And he was wrapped in a towel that the neighbors put on him after he came to their door and rang the doorbell in the nude. Oh, excuse me, he wasn't completely naked, he had socks on and a picture of Jesus and the 10 Lepers covering his sensitive areas. Poor neighbors, that must have been a bit suprizing!
I ran into the house and Morgan said, "where did he come from? I thought he was with you!" Well, we had a bit of communication gap it seems.
But then again, Sarah actually had a hand in it because she got a flashlight and flashed it down the street and told him to "go follow the light!" Really Sarah?!!!
Do you like my one dollar son?!
And in his hand is the picture of Jesus and the Lepers, except he has it turned backwards.
What on Earth am I going to do with him????

Saturday, September 18, 2010

We LOVE Saturday....

Saturday has always been my favorite day because you have your family gathered around you... and you can get sooo much done!!!
Today, we cleaned the garage out a lot, planted two trees (Morgan did this), rode bikes, went shopping for decor with Grandma Wiemer (Christa did this), played with neighbor kids, went to a neighborhood birthday party (Cass and Lund), Spend time with Grandpa and Grandpa while mom and dad went to go buy trees (Will and Sarah), and even ate pizza for dinner. Awesome, awesome day. The only setback was the HEAT.....109 in the middle of September! Wowza!
Will decided to help Dad dig holes for trees.
And here is a view of our day... running through sprinklers and melting in the heat. Each ray from the sunshine is worth about 50 degrees a piece!! Can't you just "feel" the heat through your screen!

Sarah was soooooo excited to pump up her tires and hit the road, it has been a long time in the making. She received this bike for her birthday on May 2nd, and then we moved and it sat in storage. That is why her smile is soooo big, it was like Christmas!
And then Will decided to "pump" up as well! Look at those chicken legs in his boxers!! he he
Here are my riding buddies. We rode around and around the could-a-sac and enjoyed ourselves and sweated up a storm!

And did you notice Cassidy and Lund are missing in all the pictures? That is because once their chores were done, they were missing from our house! They always seem to end up at the Smiths house two doors down. And who can blame them, they have a REAL cotton candy machine just like in a carnival and a REAL ice cream maker just like in an ice cream parlor. And guess what their dad does? he is a dentist of course, to fix all the cavities! I think he is just creating more business basically! For the next post, I will have to track them down and get some photos.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just stuff... thoughts, pictures, etc...

This week has been fulfilling, yet utterly exhausting physically and emotionally...
Most of you know, because I texted you or facebooked the new information---- I have been moved to Stage 4 cancer. Not the greatest of news.... well, o.k. that is quite the understatement! It sure was disappointing to get the phone call from the thoracic surgeon. It went a little something like this..." This is Dr. Maxwell, and I just wanted you to know that even though I was pretty sure it was just an infection, it is actually cancer. I was quite surprised. But, it is the same cancer, so your breast cancer has moved to both of your lungs and your windpipe area where the lymph nodes are really enlarged. You don't need to see me in my office, that is all." Hum... that was a bit of a cliff hanger. Thanks, buddy!
So this is our new reality and what we are dealing with on a daily basis. We have done a lot of research and we have talked with various doctors. We will be visiting with our oncologist on Monday afternoon to see what our next game plan will be, but basically--- the next plan will be to do three more rounds of a new mixture of chemo drugs, then do another PET scan. They will see if the lumps are shrinking or if the medicine is not effective. I am not quite sure how many sessions of chemo we will go, or how many medicines they will have to try. When we finish chemo eventually, then we will do radiation on my esophagus area. The radiologist warned me that this radiation will be more painful that my last 35 sessions. I will always have a sore throat and who knows what else.
In the meantime, we have been in contact with MD Anderson hospital in Houston, TX.
We know that they are the best of the best and after speaking with them, we found out that they have seen many young women with the same stage of breast cancer. Nobody can figure out why so many young women are dealing with breast cancer, and it doesn't happen to be hereditary.... so what???? hummmmmm. Just something else to put on my list of questions to ask Heavenly Father in the next life.
So, while our family has been going through all of this hoopla, we would like to thank soooo many people... We have felt the love of so many people, we simply feel overwhelmed by the prayers and love being received on my behalf. I am simply in awe of all the love!!! It is all consuming, in a great way!! Everything from phone calls from people I haven't heard from for at least 10 years, to help from new friends and neighbors that haven't even known me for 10 days. Isn't love a wonderful thing!
My kids have had the opportunity to spend the night at their cousins house, which they love! Thanks so much Aunt Leesh and kids!
What weirdos!
And Cassidy went to her first concert this week!!! She and I bought tickets about two months ago to Jonas Brothers and Demi Lavato. We invited two friends from school and another mom to share in the fun. Then, I had surgery the day before the concert. So, I was out! But Janette, the other mom, took right over and took the three girls to their fun night. What a trooper she was to do it all by herself! thanks so much Janette! Cassidy had the greatest time ever and returned late at night with no voice...... yup, she really enjoyed her 1st concert!
And guess who paid us a surprise visit this week???? Grandpa Thor from Bagdad, and Grandma Karen too. (their surrogate grandparents from Bagdad).
I love this photo because Thor picked him up and got him laughing, and then Will peed on him..... he he he!!! That's what you get for making him laugh!!
And here is a photo to show that the kids are starting to feel at home. And yes, I decoupaged those letters today while sitting on the couch. Fun times!
Will is such a goof, but Sarah was super excited to be in the picture.
Yes, it is hard to get a good picture of Will because he is now into "crazy faces"

So, that is about it.... we are just living one day at a time and we are grateful for each blessing we have!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Moving and cutting..... Isn't life grand!

So, lets start with the moving part first! Last Thursday we actually moved into our house....For Real!!!! And you know what, the grass really is greener over here! (especially now that my dad fixed the sprinkler system!)
We couldn't be more happy to buy and move into our first home. 13 years into marriage and we FINALLY purchased our own home!! How exciting, and well worth the wait!

As I was unpacking I came across the "cookie jar", which seemed WAY heavier than it needed to be. Low and behold, Will had "packed" it himself and look what he brought from Bagdad... four rocks, some garbage, (Bagdad garbage is much better than other "trash"), His gun, which he taped to the targets, and his monster truck. So, this is what is important to a 4-year-old boy!!
And the neighbors came over to greet us and give us a basket that they made for us. Each of the neighbors put a present in the basket for us! We have the greatest cul-de-sac ever!!!! Our new neighbors are sooo loving and caring. They have already helped us out soooo much. One day I walked down the stairs where I had been unpacking and a neighbor was in my pantry unloading some boxes for me... she just came right in and got to work!!! Amazing, I know!!! And they are ALL like that!!!!!!! I feel soooo blessed to live here!!!

Here is a photo shot of grandpa and the neighborhood boys putting together the trampoline.
The kids were sooooo excited to have a backyard again!!! And I was so excited to let them play and get a few things done.
A beautiful sunset and a handsome boy riding his bike! I love them both!
And now onto the "cutting" part. Yesterday I had a surgery to find out what is going on with my cancer. It wasn't such a huge surgery, and instead of using steri-strips or stitches, they decided to "glue" me together this time! I am actually glad they did because I think it will heal a lot better and not be so painful. Today I feel a little bit like I got punched all along my wind pipe and across my neck. But, I have had worse, and I just need a bit of rest and a bit of chocolate.... or a lot of chocolate and a lot of rest! Something like that!
When the kids got home and ran over to see my cut, Sarah looked at it and said, "Your right daddy, it does look like a little mouth!" he he! What a goof!!!
Back track to last Thursday and my view as I pulled up at the house. Yipppeeee, our stuff is here!!!
Other news.... Will tested into a developmental preschool program here in Gilbert and I am sooooo excited for him! The bus is going to pick him up at our house everyday and drop him off right at his front door! Life doesn't get better than this!!!! He is super excited for it to all begin!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A busy, yet productive day!!!

Today was crammed to the hilt... but we did get a LOT accomplished!!
The day started with the signing of papers for our new house!!! Wow, that is enough signing to make your hand cramp...... But it is finished!!!
Then my mom accompanied me to meet with a cardiothorasic surgeon this afternoon. She is great because she has been dubbed my "note taker" and even makes a list of questions to ask the doctor. Dr. Maxwell was a very good, thorough doctor and he wants the surgery done "yesterday" (that is what he told the nurse scheduling my surgery). Since that is not exactly a possibility, it will be scheduled for this Thursday or Friday morning. And if you have kept tabs, yes, this is the same day we will be moving into our new house!!! I know... crazy, huh!!!
We figured it all out though... Morgan is going to direct the movers and periodically check in on me at the hospital. My mom is going to take Will to his preschool testing to see if he qualifies for some extra help and a very awesome preschool program. And I am just going to lay in a bed on pain killers. (I think I am getting off easy! Anyone who has ever moved before would probably rather have surgery than unpack!)
I am still awaiting a call from MD Anderson in Texas to see when I can schedule an appointment there for a consultation with breast cancer specialists. But everyone has been so supportive offering me places to stay and even a buddy pass on an airplane!! I have the best friends and family in the world!!!!
O.K. back to the schedule today.. Lund also had a pack meeting tonight and it was a lot of fun!
Here is Lund receiving his belt loop for science. Next month he will be getting his Bear and moving onto Webelos. I can't wait to get his Cub shirt out of storage!
Here are three of our Cubs reciting the Cub Scout Oath to a new scout about to enter the pack.

And we had a lot of fun using magnifying glasses and going on a special investigation to find out what the treats were... too cute!!
And here is the best part of the day!!! In the evening (I am in my scout shirt), we met at the house and got the keys to our house!!! And Laurel our Realtor and an old friend made us a whole batch of "house" cookies from scratch!!! Aren't they the cutest things ever!!! She is amazing!!!
And here is Cassidy being goofy trying to open the door to her house cookie with the key! What a goof!
Another funny moment happened today as Sarah was eating her house cookie. She yelled out to everyone who would listen, "Wow, try the roof.... It tastes amazing!!!" (It was a little reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel!)

*I am exhausted after this day of wonderful things.... I am off to bed!!