Thursday, September 29, 2011

Me in the Spotlight!!!

I went to Mayo Clinic this morning as usual to get my chemo. I was in "my room" minding my own business, when one of the doctors came in. (Can you tell how often I am there? I have my own room. he he he)
 Anyhow,  I looked up from my "Monk" episode and set down my scrapbooking project. Dr. Norfelt, who is in charge of the experimental study that I am in wanted me to do an interview with chanel 12 News. I had already recieved a call from an ASU student that wanted to interview me for his documentary about the "drug shortage". Truthfully though, I don't know much about the drug shortage, so I declined.  But today they promised to not ask too many questions that don't really concern me and they promised to do the interview before my Benadryl, which makes me loopy and incoherent, so I took a chance and did it. It was actually pretty fun. I always think it is funny though that they interview you for an hour or so, and then only use a line or two. I guess that is why they call it "editing".  
 Oh well, for good or bad, here it is......

p.s. thank you so much Heather Wilson for finding the link.

Silver City get-a-way sans the children!!!

Last week, Morgan and I had the WONDERFUL opportunity to get away in the middle of the week..... ALL BY OURSELVES!!! It took a bit of planning and some amazing grandparents helping out, but it all worked out beautifully.
Morgan had to go to Silver City, New Mexico for work, and I always tell him that I will come sometime. Well, sometime finally came and it was fun to see the different copper mines that he works with. We stayed at a beautiful, quaint bed and breakfast and that was a first for me. At a hotel, your lucky if you get a piece of toast and a yogurt in the morning. Not at a bed and breakfast! Each morning the owner prepared a three-course breakfast for us... It was AMAZING!!
 Morgan and I enjoyed walking the "old downtown" in Silver City.
 It was just very cathartic to walk and talk with Morgan for hours when he didn't have to be at the mines.
 We walked into the town visitor's center, and kaboom! A huge ball of copper donated by his company. It was pretty cool. Morgan explained to me how they made it and stuff, but I have since forgotten. (darn chemo brain!)
 We saw a lot of beautiful things, but the most important thing was being together. We had a 5-hour drive there and back and we enjoyed talking for the entire drive. I brought along a family history project I am working on currently and read the "family letters" to him for hours. We reminisced on our life while in college and having his first job and the kids being little. It was soooo much fun, and it really made us realize that we are so blessed to be where we are today. We must have a loving Father in Heaven that watches out for us all along the path and can see how it all comes together in the end.
One day when Morgan was at the mine all day long I went for a drive around and outside of the town.... and look what I found!!! THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE!!! It was very anti-climatic. In fact, I even got out and dragged my foot in the dirt to create some sort of line. Come on people, you need to have a "divide line" or something. Oh well, now I have seen the continental divide. (Not on my top ten for sure!)
Look carefully, can you see the "continental divide"? Yeah, not so much...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gramma has a birthday, shout hooray!

I am a litle belated with this blog post, but it was too cute to resist! Two Sundays ago, we celebrated Gramma Karen's birthday with a Sunday dinner with family. It was tons of fun!

 Sarah greeted everyone at the front walk and said "Welcome to Gramma Karen's 65th birthday. would you like a mustache or a yellow necklace?" (She tried to say it like Ruth Johnson did when she greeted everyone at the 25th wedding anniversary years ago!! Too funny!)
Why the mustaches and necklaces?
 Well, Grandma loves the color yellow and she loves it when the grandboys wear fake mustaches...It was really fun!!
 Oh my goodness!! Ellie looks sooooooooo cute in a mustache!!!!! he he he
 And Uncle Buck fits in nicely with a Stache!!!
 And the birthday girl arrives!!! She said that you can't smile while wearing a mustache, or it will fall off............    And the beautiful balloon hat was made by Cassidy.
 We had burgers and then some yummy carrot cake. Gramma is getting ready to blow out her candles..
And......... she did it!! Morgan looks pretty mad though! he he he (He says that is just his "resting face")

We had a great time and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays together as a family.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gilbert Days and David Archelletta

Last Saturday our family headed over to the Gilbert Civic Center to see the new Sept. 11th memorial. They brought in a beam from the twin towers and they had everyone's name who lost their lives on plaques surrounding the memorial.
It was a very solemn, reverent display..
Here is the family minus a hidding Will.
Sarah loved the snowcones because you got to put your own flavor on.
  And Will asked Cassidy for a bite of her snowcone. Then he took a bite out of her cup?!!!  He's a weirdy!!
 Then they started the concert......... David Archeletta. The kids loved it and Lund and Cassidy got as close to the front as they could. But Morgan and I and the Littles just found a nice spot in the back in the grass and let them run around.
 Sarah and Will took turns being the "horse".
                                              Lund and I hanging out and watching the patriotic concert..
 Then they started the fireworks...... and Will was sooooooooooooo nervous about it!!!
WE LOVE OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday morning before the Primary Program... also known as "picture conversations"

Each year in our church, we let the kids put on a "performance" of the things that they have learned throughout the year in church. It is a wonderful church meeting, and probably my favorite of the year.
I am not too proud to tell you that I bribbed my children with a crisp new five dollar bill if they memorized their parts. They accepted the offer and did an amazing job memorizing every last word.

Before we left for church, I thought it would be a great opportunity to snap a picture of my three kids still in Primary. Cassidy is already too old, and Lund will be getting the Priesthood this summer. Crazy!
 Here's the first picture. And here is how the conversation went.
Mom: "Great guys, but let's take another one just in case someone has their eyes closed. And Lund, is that a sucker? Before church..."
 Lund: "Mom, why do I have to smile? Whenever I smile you tell me I look like I just got pinched."
Mom:  "Fine, don't smile.."
Sarah: "I'll pinch you"
 Mom: "Nevermind. Lund... Come on.....Don't smile, don't smile......whatever you do, don't smile.. (this usually tricks them into smiling)........
 Mom: "Dang!"
Sarah: "Lund, just smile so mom will stop taking pictures!"
Will: "cheese...."
Here's the end result: I love you kiddos!!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet Relief!!!

I am sitting here writing and feel very relieved to express my gratitute to a loving Heavenly Father that sees fit to keep me around a bit longer.
  Let me begin on Monday.... We met with the Dr. at Mayo and everything seemed to be going well. Then I mentioned to him that I get really bad headache/migraines on the weeks that I don't have chemotherapy. He thought about it for a minute and replied that the most likely scenario was that my body was getting dependent on the steriods that they give me right before chemo because, possibly, my brain tumors were swelling and the steriods would keep the swelling down. Then on my "off" week from chemo, I would feel the migaines.
 I asked him what this meant... He said that if they saw swelling in my brain, then I would have to take steriods all the time and I would also no longer be able to take my experiemental chemo. (You know the one, the one that is keeping me alive!!)
 So, as you can see, this week I have been REALLY stressed and worried and emotional. The doctor set up an MRI for my brain on Friday morning (this morning).
   This morning I went into the MRI pretty down in the dumps. Luckily, I had a beautiful blessing from Morgan and his father last night, so I had that going for me.
    Fast forward to lunchtime today. I met with my mom and sister for a fun lunch. But, then I noticed that the coordinator from Mayo had already called me when my phone was turned off. I started freaking out in my mind. Is it good that they called back so soon????? Is is so bad that I need to rush to the hospital??
So, I called back only to find that she had just left for lunch...for an hour!!!
   Pretty much, I didn't have much of an appitite after that, so thank you mom and Leesh for putting up with me.
  After a torturous hour, I finally got through to the clinic coordinator, and luckily for me, she told me right off the bat "I have good news!" So my heart heaved a sigh of relief...." Not only are there no new signs of swelling in your brain, but also the tumors have DECREASED in size!"
  Wahoooooooooo... I wasn't even thinking about them decreasing, that totally through me for a loop!!!! So, now I am really excited to see the neurologist because I am just a "regular" person with migraines!!!
Thank you for all the prayers that you offer in my behalf, I feel they were truly answered today!!

 This evening, Morgan came home with a present for me! The newest edition of the movie 17 Miracles, this one is called 18 Miracles and I am in it!!!! he he he 
                             And we had fun sharing these tonight.... I LOVE YOU MORGAN!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wake surfing at Saqauro Lake.

Last Saturday Morgan and I had a chance to go on a "real" date. We were invited to go "wake surfing" with some friends. We decided to go ahead and plan on it, and if I was feeling too sick, we could cancel. And let me just tell you that we had a BLAST!!! Thank you grandma and grandpa Wiemer for taking the kids.

 Morgan was a natural and had not time getting up on the surfboard..

 .........but, eventually we all end up like this..... with a nose full of lake water!
 Here I am getting ready for the boat to go.......

 ..........but I wasn't as good at it as Morgan. It sure took a lot of shoulder and upper arm strength to get up on the board.
 The weather outside looked like this... so we were a bit worried.
 And look at these beautiful bald eagles we saw on a cliff surrounding the lake.

Bald Eagles have a way of looking so regal and proud. How do they do that?!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Completely Random Bagdadness!! Otherwise known as... I didn't take many pictures and I am regretting it now!

For the Labor Day Holiday, we wanted to go on a vacation as a family. So we put the question up to the kids. Guess where they all wanted to go??? BAGDAD of course! And I can't figure out why I didn't pull my camera out more, but I was just so busy chatting with friends, watching a Boise State football game, eating, and eating some more that I just didn't think about it. So, the pictures today are very random, but they represent a wonderful trip to Bagdad. It was hard to leave to come back "home" at the end of the trip. Being there for 6 years really made an impact on our kids and I know they will never forget a little town in the middle of the desert with some of the best people in the whole world....

In Bagdad, you can always expect......

                                                  The boys to be skateboarding before church. 

 I have dubbed these guys, "skateboarding missionaries!" Maybe they will ride a skateboard instead of a bike....ha!

                                       In Bagdad, you can always expect............
some form of wildlife to be lurking about.

In this case, it was a bat starring at us above the door.  Don't worry, Will let us know that it is defnitely not a vampire! Dang! he he
 you can always expect good friends close by. Here is a picture of Dax and Lund at his house in Hillside.
 You can always expect your son to steal your camera and take a candid shot of you... Well, you can't always expect  that, but it did happen this time.
 You can expect to find good people EVERYWHERE! In this picture Lund is with is old school teacher and her baby. She taught him for about three years in Hillside. We LOVED all of their teachers there.
And, you can always expect memories to come flooding back. Like this picture of our kids' Elementary School. There are just two rooms. 1st-4th and 5th -8th.
 Oh, and you can always expect Sarah to be hiding somewhere, playing Pokemon. Canyon is seen with her here.

And that last thing you can always expect is to see Thor's "Angel drawers" as he roughhouses with the kids!! he he he! Not really, I just thought it was funny!  Will LOVES wrestling with his Grandpa Four!

What isn't pictured:
  • Talking with my best friend about life, if only for a little bit.
  • Watching one of the best kids I have ever known get ready to leave for his mission.
  • Bearing testimony in a chapel with only 40 some odd people and knowing that I love and know each and every one of them and their lifestory.
  • Having a traditional BrimAnderHulseSon meal. (Families inlcude: Brimhall, Anderson, Hulse, and Johnson)
  • Going to the Bashas at 8pm on a Saturday night and seeing the whole ward there stalking up for Sunday before they close at 9pm.
  • Going up to "our house on the hill" and realizing that it isn't our home anymore....bittersweet, truly!
  • Falling asleep in bunkbeds reserved for the missionaries when they make the "big trek" from Prescott to Bagdad.
  • Remembering how beautiful the "high desert" is....(so different from the "desert" in the Valley)
  • Feeling the love and support of a whole town as they all asked me how the cancer was going. They were there when it started bringing meals up to our house and checking in on us.

But we also have so much good ahead of us.......but just for a minute it is great to just sit and reminisce.......

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

You've heard of "What's in your wallet?", but I am wondering, "What's on your counter?"

I am very embarrassed to post this picture of my dirty counter, but this is just life at the Johnson home at 7pm. So, now you are wondering, "what's on my counter?"..... Well, I will show you...

                               gecko #1
                                 gecko #2
                     gecko #3, and this one is trying to escape. These were all brought inside from Sarah's nightly gecko raid.
Oh, and what the heck is in the last contanier?!!!!!! Oh yea, that's right, a tarantula!!! Morgan brought it back from his work trip to Bagdad today. Now, you can see why I am avoiding cleaning this counter!

So, now I ask you....."What's on your counter?"