Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fishy, funny, foody, fireman, and works of art

I took the kids to the aquarium. We had a great time. The kids LOVED it. I was pretty happy about that since I pretty much had to drag Maylin and Alex there. It was nice to have them be happy about it once we got there. I am finding it harder and harder to get my kids to go and do things together. Everyone wants to be with a friend. I have given up a bit and only do a "family" activity once in awhile. I have accepted that with their ages, this is what comes.





For dinner one night, I gave everyone $5.00 and turned them loose in Wal-Mart. Some teamed up and spent their money together. It was interesting what our Crazy dinner turned out to be. (Jalapeno burgers, two kinds of Doritos, lemonade, chili, cookies and broccoli.) Can't say it was my favorite, but it was entertaining. 



I did not have much time to can this year......okay none. I froze a few bags of peppers and that was it, so we just enjoyed fresh stuff. I made lots of peach and raspberries pies, this peach cake and an amazing peach crumble. This cake, was to die for.

A day at the eye doctor. We laughed when I said these were my "Three Blind Mice".




Jay and I and Maylin went to this amazing new museum at Thanksgiving Point. It was so hands on, with lots of VERY cool stuff. We as parents had a great time!


Maylin doing a puppet show. Above. Below is Jay doing a green screen skiing out of an avalanche's way. 
 Science stuff!

A tornado tunnel.


An amazing and long rope bridge course. 



My nephew Andrew stayed with us for several weeks. He is a fireman. He let Alex try on his gear. He even timed him to see if he could get on all the gear in under 30 seconds. He came close, but no cigar. Alex looks good in the gear. 



Alex spent a lot of his summer painting. He did some amazing art with spray paint and card board. He painted on canvas or on pieces of left over tile. Here he is with some of his works of art. 



All done with spray paint. No brushes, just cardboard. Pretty cool.



Austin has been enjoying getting back to playing the organ. He is trying to polish his skills that got a bit tarnished while he was on his mission. 




Thursday, October 9, 2014

The memories of summer

While I was on my blogging hiatus, lots of fun things happened. Alex, Jay and I went to a trainer. She had us do a rowing machine and see how far we could go in 15 minutes. We had to keep our resistance between 2 and 3. Alex was all proud as he walked away with 3300 meters in 15 minutes. Jay got 1900 meters and I did 2900. I took this shot for proof. The machine ran for 40 seconds to stop so my numbers are up in this shot. Alex wasn't very pleased that his old mom almost kept up with him. 


Here is a picture of the old woman after the serious battle on the rowing machines. I look like crap. Sweaty crap. But it was good.  I was pretty dang proud of myself. 


Maylin and I went on a date and had cold stone. It was nice to be out with just her. I love her sweetness.


The first weekend in August, Jay took me away for a night. So, we only went downtown Salt Lake, We stayed in the Grand America. It was awesome. I got my hair done. I figured after he saw me look so gross at the gym, I ought to remind him that I can clean up a bit. Yes, people I can curl my hair. Only happens a few times a year.

I saw Wicked in London, but Jay wanted to see it too, so we went on our night out. It was great!



At 11:30 that night, we ordered room service! Seriously, nothing better than incredible chocolate cake and ice cream close to midnight. It was the first time I had EVER had room service.


The amazing flowers in the lobby. The lobby also had fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies every day. I thought it might be weird to get a picture of those. 


We also got a couples massage at the hotel spa. Here we are with out sparkling cider and creme brulee. We ate this while we waited for our massage. Pretty awesome. 


Totally feeling pampered and relaxed!


We also spent a day and 1/2 just lounging at the pool. We didn't eat anywhere fancy except for breakfast. The rest of the time we ate by the pool and they waited on us hand and foot.





The pool was awesome. I got burned. Jay dove too deep in the pool and scraped his nose on the bottom. He bled, and it hurt. But it was kinda funny. It was an AMAZING get away!!

Also, back to the 24th of July......Jay poses by our town's float for the parade. He is dressed up in the costumes they had for kids to use to dress as an ancestor. He is so crazy. 



Sunday, October 5, 2014

I discovered true love.

I spent the weekend in Idaho again. I have been trying to go up there a few days a month, especially over a weekend, so my brother and sister can have some time away. I feel since they are helping daily, they need a weekend where they can go away with their families and not worry about my parents. Besides that, I want to help my parents and be with them.

I love my siblings. I love my parents. Truly.

This weekend I worked hard. I painted a bathroom for my parents. They had a new toilet put in and safety rails. This work damaged the walls and they had to be patched and they need to be repainted. So I did. I chopped roots away from old trees and relaid a stone path that had come up due to the roots. I also cleaned bathrooms, floors, walls and I dusted. They have had swarms of bees in their house over the past few months. I got an exterminator and then I patched the basement window we think they were coming in from. I cleaned up the basement. I helped my dad do his exercises and I took him walking. I shopped for them and cooked for them.

I was up late. Then up early. I was up three or more times a night helping my mom help my dad. But, you know what? It was the best. Yes. I am tired, but I feel blessed.

I loved it. I love them.

My mom hadn't been out of the house for over a month except to go to the doctor, so  my sister watched my dad for an hour and a half and me and my girls took mom out for a girls' night. It was fabulous. We took her to one of the fanciest restaurants in Idaho Falls. We ate on the porch next to a fire pit. We took a ride around the Snake River green belt. Then, to be silly we went to the cemetery and knocked on the famous knocking grave. Weird, I know. But she needed a little adventure and fun. We weren't scared at the grave until this cat came by and meowed this evil meow and we all screamed and headed to the car. Maylin wouldn't be alone the rest of the weekend.

It was a fun night for her. She was so glad to have a break. I was glad to give it to her.

I showed her my true love.

I think my best memory of the weekend was Saturday night. My dad was a having a nightmare. I went into him and found my mom trying to comfort him. She went to use the restroom and he asked me to sit by him. We held hands and he just started to talk. And talk. And talk. He told me about his dream. He said he has it every night. He can't figure out where he is. He knows he's in his room, but it doesn't feel like it. He says his bedroom really isn't his. We talked about his time as the temple president of the Idaho Falls LDS temple. We talked about when he was a small boy and how he shopped at Burns Market. He told me why he doesn't like hamburger anymore. He talked about how blessed he was in his life. He talked about how much he loved my mother.

Best of all......he said he missed holding her hand at night.

That is true love. They can't hold hands because of his brace and the side of the bed he has to be on. He said he misses touching her arm at night. He said he was grateful after all these years that he still loved to touch her.

I was in tears. That is true love.

We talked for 30 minutes tenderly. He had me rub his sore feet and legs. Then I covered him up and kissed him good-night. It was amazing. It was the best 30 minutes I have had in a long time.

I also loved being there for my mom. She talked to me. She shared her fears and frustrations. She cried to me. She told me how much she and my dad love me and trusted me. She was glad I was her confidant. She said she needed someone to cry to and I was that one. That was priceless to me.

That is true love.

I discovered something about my relationship with my parents. It is different than my brother's or my sister's. My parents respect them more than anything. They love them until sometimes I have felt jealous. They have told me time and time again that my siblings make them proud. They love their attention. They are proud that they are hard workers, dedicated, amazing parents, talented in sewing, music or speaking and they think they are smart. Sometimes I felt like they thought I was the baby. They often would tease me that I was tenderhearted to a fault. They said I was their most laid back child. They weren't insults at all, it was true. That is how I am. They always told me I was their special spirit. Their gift. Their blessing. They told me I was born later in their life for a reason. I was my mom's companion when my dad was busy with work and with church and the siblings lived away. But I saw that the respect for me was different than what they had for my siblings. It was hard sometimes, but it was okay with me.

This weekend, however, it became more okay with me. In fact, it became awesome. Guess what? Those differences are special. That tenderheartedness, that laid back quality has made me the one that they let into their most private moments. My dad lets me get him dressed. He lets me wipe him clean. He tells me his frustrations. He holds my hand tight. My mom cries to me. She tells me that she is scared. She says she can because she knows I don't see anything, but their hearts. She said its because I am tenderhearted. She said its because I am laid back. She said it is because I am their blessing.

That is true love.

Does this mean they love one of us more or less? No. It means we all have a different place. But those differences are still equal. It means we are all there for them for different reasons. We fill in the holes where they need help. We all have a purpose. We are all loved the same. But, this weekend I truly found my place! I discovered what my relationship is with them. I know what they think of me. I know my purpose in my family. I love my family. All of us. All of our differences. All of us together.

That is true love.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

I love my dad

On Labor Day, my dad was out moving a hose when he fell. He has fallen a couple of times in the last few months and has fractured vertebrates in the process. These have been painful, but he was still able to get around fairly well. The pain was intense and he was scared of falling again, but he could still do what needed to be done. But, we saw a change in him.

This last fall he broke his shoulder. It was a clean break. For you or me, they would use screws and reattach, but because he has osteoporosis so badly, they can't. His arm is in a brace, holding it closely to his body. We are hoping it will heal.

The thing about it, it is more than a fall. I guess it is because he is almost 86, but it has really made him take a turn for the worse. I went up and cared for him full time for 4 days last week. It was hard to see that he can't walk alone anymore. He is not surefooted and he looses his balance all the time. He can't even stand on his own much. I had to help him walk, help him out of a chair and dress him. It was an honor for me to help serve the man who has served me and my family so well. Not to mention, all the people he has served in our church and community. It was hard for him however, to have me do things for him. I saw him struggle letting me put his shoes on, helping him wash, helping him walk.... He even said trying to get over pride was hard.

I love him.

He is very underweight and feeble. We are trying to get him stronger in hopes when his arm heals he will be able to get around by himself with a walker. He won't ever physically be the same again. It has been hard for my mom to see this change and to know this is where their life is going.

On Sunday, the young men in my mom's church came over and gave them the sacrament. The two boys knelt in their family room and blessed the bread and water. My mother broke out in audible tears. She said she had this overwhelming feeling, that my dad's life wouldn't be the same now. He would need care and would have to have others' assistance. It was hard for her.

My  mother is a trooper! She is always in pain. She has neuropathy, fibromyalgia, bad disks, hammer toes, arthritis, but she never stops when it comes to my dad. I am so proud of how she has stepped up and taken the lead. She works through her pain and tiredness to make sure he is cared for. I went up to give her a break, especially at night. Some nights she was only getting 1/2 hour of sleep. While I was there, I knew she had to have some full-time care. I talked to my wonderful siblings who live close and are there every day to get him up, put him to bed and check on him on their lunch hours, and we decided to try to get them full-time help. Mom didn't want it. She wanted to do it. She said he was her responsibility. After I left, she did finally realize it had to be. Full time care started today.

When I called their house and the helper answered and said she "was Glenn's caregiver, " I started to bawl. It just hit me that my dad is in this place where he has to have a care giver. It makes me sad. I know his time is limited. I have known that for years, as they have aged, but this is real. Its happening. It is hard.

I am going back up in a few weeks to spend 4 days, over the weekend when the full-time care can't come. I am happy to do it. My dad is an honorable, Christ centered, compassionate, hardworking man. He deserves my help. I love him.

I wish I could just fix this all for him and for my mother. Its hard to watch. Its wonderful, however, to see the love they have for each other. It is inspiring.

Monday, September 1, 2014

3rd Annual Dirty Dash

I ran the Dirty Dash again this year. Kenzie came with me (her 2nd time) and Maylin did the very end with us. It was a lot of fun! Kenzie was only nervous on the fireman's pole. I wore Alex's GoPro. It was cool. He made a fun video with it afterward. Austin, Alex and Jay followed us around and took pictures. Maylin didn't feel well, but joined in at the end and got sprayed pink. She wants to do it with us next year. By the way, Kenzie and I made the Salt Lake Tribune! It was a picture of us coming off the wooden wall pictured below. It was cool.

Before we begin.....nice and clean.



Kenzie participated in a hoola-hoop race and almost won.

Get set go!




































Finish line