Monday, May 21, 2012

A Belated Birthday Blog, better known as a BBB

Sarah turns 9 and I FINALLY am blogging about it!!! 
 I simply cannot believe that my sweet, brown-eyed baby girl can be this old!!! But nine-years-ago (from May 2nd), Sarah entered this world and took her first breath. It turned out that later that same day, she forgot how to breathe and decided to stop. She spent the first few days of her life in the NICU trying to remember this important little trick. But lo, and behold, she was a happy and healthy little girl. I can still remember well Lund poking her with one little finger as she lay in the incubator. He couldn't quite figure out what to do with her.
 A little about Sarah at nine-years-old... First and foremost, she LOVES animals! Not the everyday like of love, but she obsesses about them! She is always on the search of animal critters, or mending a baby bird that hurt a wing. She has been asking for a kitten for a long time and she was overjoyed to be able to pick out the one she wanted. And she must have the magic touch because she sure picked out the best kitten that I have ever met. She loves kittens so much, that I finally let her get one even though I am allergic to them. I simply remember each morning to take my Claritin and we all get along just fine.
 Sarah also made invitations to her "party" unbeknownst to my husband and myself.  (I didn't know we where having a party). Luckily she only invited three friends, so I only had to scramble a bit to make things work out. But all she really wanted was to have a few friends over to share in her glorious day.
And Sarah only had two things on her list this year: A kitten and a Butterfly Habitat. (Both are living presents, hummmm). She was overjoyed when Papa Lund and Gramma Karen got her the very habitat she was asking for. My parents gave her money to buy kitty stuff and she was just in animal heaven!

But alas, the pictures have distracted me from telling you more about my sweetie. Right now she likes: Animals, coloring, jumping on the trampoline, swimming with friends, reading or listening to audiobooks. She loves Otter Pops and macoroni and cheese (her requested dinner on her birthday. Not "ordinary" mac and cheese, the Bonnie Hynes homemade version). She loves rollerblading and is getting used to playing the piano regularly. She has AMAZING penmanship and is an A student in the 2nd grade. She is the friendliest, kindest girl I know. She will give you whatever you ask for, so don't take advantage of that! She has the HUGEST heart and will cry if she knows that someone else is being mistreated, (human or animal). She is my cuddlebug and would cuddle with me as I read aloud to her for hours if I let her. She also draws the most adorable cartoons you have ever seen. Her pictures just have sooooo much character, I don't know how she does it. We laugh everytime!
We sure do love you Sarah! I know Topsy will be sooooo glad that you are her owner!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And onto our next act...

Recently, our family had the opportunity to attend a Magic Show at our ward building. I knew we had a "Real Magician" in our ward boundary, but I was AMAZED at how good he was!
  Lund has been really getting into magic lately and was thrilled to see the show. The Magician's son, Matthew, is one of Lund's best buddies, so they got to set up the show and take it down, and they were shown quite a few neat little tricks.

 Maybe I just don't get out much, but anytime you can ride a unicycle with a blindfold over your eyes AND juggle swords, you have made the "awesome" category in my book!
 This poor Sister Missionary didn't know what was coming when she was pulled from the audience, but she was such a trooper, even with a sword stuck in her neck! I think she will attract more attention when tracting with a sword protruding out of her neck.
 And Sarah was so excited when she was pulled from the audience to "help" with a trick. She waved her magic wand with gusto!! (she is the one on the far right in pink)
It was an amazing experience and the magician really focused on teaching the kids in the audience that it all comes with practice, practice, practice.............. and a little bit of magic!

I'm still here!

I am so far behind on my blogging that it isn't even funny! I am not quite sure what happened to me, but it all just seemed to fall out of my head as the school year winds down and the weather is over 100 degrees. But I am determined to try for my posterity sake to get back on the horse. But due to my delay, I won't be putting as many details about certain events as I usually do, just to get the ball rolling.
    First off, in late April, my mom and I had the chance to attend Women's Conference in Provo, Utah at the BYU campus. It was quite the experience and one I would LOVE to attend each year and make a tradition.
Here you can see my mom and I below the Y Mountain.
 And the weather was beautiful and very cold! We stayed at my mom's friend's house in Highland, Utah and this is a view from their front door. Beautiful and freezing, that is how I will remember it!
 On the last day, we got to hang out with Ryan (my little brother), and his new wife Kirstan. They are renting the most adorable little house in Provo just a short distance from the campus. They are both attending the Y and working and getting scholarships as well. Way to go guys!!! I still can't believe that my little brother is getting so old!

I took A LOT of notes at each of the classes that I attended and learned so much that my ears almost popped right off! (since my head was so full!)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Adorable AND quirky!

I have an adorably quirky girl that I love so dearly . And today I am going to present two reasons why she is so quirky. 
Evidence #1
 While camping a few weeks ago, Sarah declared that she was going to make a raccoon trap! And she set to work. And work she did. A rock in the crook of the stick to balance the weight. A trail of oranges leading to the "trap", and of course, peeled oranges inside the "trap"

Evidence #2

A simple message of strength on a friends wall? Not to Sarah!  While in Bagdad at our friends' house we were all on the couch talking and Sarah came in and tugged on my arm. Whispering loudly in my ear, she urgently said, "MOM, you HAVE to come see this!!! Come on, come on!!" I excused myself and Sarah led me into their sons bedroom. I didn't see anything intriguing, but she was jumping up and down and pointing at the wall. (see above) I thought it was a great message on the wall and I was confused.  I told her that I thought it looked nice. Her eyes widened and she proclaimed "BE VIOLENT! BE VIOLENT ISN'T VERY NICE MOM!"

Oh, how we love our quirky gal!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Camping We Will go!

A couple of weeks ago we went camping with our family at our old stomping grounds near Bagdad, Arizona.  We decided that it was time to get the pop-up out on the road. We were actually going to sell our pop-up because we hadn't used it since moving to the Valley. We even put it on Craig's List and had a few offers. Then we called a family council and the kids FREAKED OUT! They didn't want to sell the pop up at all EVER!!! So, instead we decided to put more effort into using the pop-up.  And there you have it....
I think that sometimes trees can be so beautiful!

And of course, since we were only 15 minutes away from Bagdad, we spent the majority of Saturday having fun with our friends. Isn't it interesting that whenever kids get on the trampoline they think they have to wrestle each other to the ground?
And when you are the youngest kiddo on the tramp, you REALLY better be quick on your feet. Lund looks like he is going to eat Will for dinner.
But, when you are jumping with friends, you always find the kids' constantly smiling!
Poor Will!
And that is when you need a sister who loves you to watch over you. I ADORE this picture!
And yet, there they are, a few minutes later............FRIENDS FOR LIFE!

And now, back at the camp spot, the kids decided to climb straight up a steep mountain face. Not a very good idea. Morgan had to go up and rescue quite a few of the kiddos.
Campfire friends are truly awesome! They are dirty and sticky, and the best kind of friends to have.
Thank you friends for making our camping trip one to remember! Oh, how we love you all.

I guess we won't sell our pop up after all!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Blessings just keep falling on my head...

It's raining blessings!!
My last post mentioned the despair we were in over my chemotherapy medicine. I didn't want to go to phase 1 trials again (the guinea pig chemo phase), but I didn't know if we would be able to pay "astronomical amounts" for a medicine we weren't even sure would be successful.  That night I prayed harder than I have in quite a while. All I wanted was a chance with this other chemo, before we eliminate traditional chemotherapy all together.
  The next morning I was in the shower when my phone rang. The message was from the Apothecary shop who was handling my case. This surprised me since we weren't expecting a call back so quickly. The message was short and I was pretty sure I knew how this was going to end.
   "Hello, this is Kelly from the Apothecary shop and I just wanted you to know that I had an easy time getting approval for one of your chemotherapy meds, but the other one.......... well, just call me as soon as possible. Bye now."   "Darn!" I thought, as I dialed her number. Well, at least we gave it a shot.
              Crazily enough, this is not where the story ends....................
Kelly answered my call quickly and sounded almost giddy on the other line. "Christa, I need to talk to you about the Affinitor. This chemo medicine isn't approved for breast cancer.... "I know," I interjected, "I just thought it was worth a shot...."
    "That's just it" Kelly shot back, "It wasn't approved for breast cancer, until just recently! I already ran it through your insurance and the co-pay is a bit steep. It is 100.00 a month."
     At this point, I about fell out of my chair because 100.00 was WAY cheaper than I was thinking!
  "......but we ran it through are prescription program and it actually will only cost you 25.00 a month. Well, actually 32.00 a month since you have a 7. 00 co-pay for the other medicine."   Alleluia!

And there you have it ladies and gentlefolk, prayers are answered!!!

p.s. Morgan ran the numbers and this medicine would cost us 90,000 a year if we had to pay out of pocket! That equals 262.00 a pill!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cancer update

So, I have a lot to blog about lately, but I am putting all that aside tonight to give a cancer update.
   Today I went to the Oncologist at MD Anderson and found out that this chemo isn't working either. That was chemo #8 and my choices are getting skimpy.
   We are playing the waiting game right now for a few days or so because we have two choices and we aren't sure which way to proceed until we have more information.
   First of all, my Oncologist is calling her collegue at T-Gen in Scottsdale to see if they have any Phase 1 trials that I will qualify for.
  The other choice is a medicine called Affinator, which is only FDA approved for kidney cancer at this time, but medical journals are finding that it is also effective with breast cancer patients. It may be FDA approved this summer, but that is a waiting game I can't play.  So, they are trying to beg my insurance company to look over my history and cover it anyway. They did warn me that the co-pay will more than likely be insanely high. Fun!
  I keep praying "Thy Will Be Done" and I know who is in charge of my life. I turn my life over to the Loving Father who sent me here to this mortal realm to be tested. Now if these mortal bodies just weren't so fickle!!!

But, with all that aside,  this was the day my daughter was born, 9-years-ago, in the sleepy town of Flagstaff, where trains stop your progress when you are in severe pain and headed toward the hospital.  I love you Sarah Ruth! Now let's give everyone a peek, so they can see what you got for your birthday....
                                                                Betcha can't guess!!!