Mummy I love you and a G.I. plan

Last week Colby had an appointment with his GI doctor. She is such an amazing doctor and I love her. She moved her practice to the Children’s hospital and quit doing her call in hour. You  used to be able to call her up from 8 to 9 and ask questions, get a new prescription, things you forgot to discuss. It let her “see” more patients that didn’t necessarily need another appointment. Now that’s she’s changed locations she no longer has that option and I was bummed. Colby couldn’t get in to see her until the end of April! I decided to call the office and see if we could try some ideas before his appointment to stop his stomach pain. Instead she opened up her lunch hour for him and we were in to see her two days later.

I think my favorite thing about her is that she never has one idea. When you leave her office you leave with plan A, B and C at a minimum. Colby now has some antispasmodic drops for his intestines and an intestinal antibiotic. I’d never really thought about it but when she said that kids with feeding tubes generally have all kids of different germs in the intestines that other kids don’t it made a lot of sense. Colby’s feeding tube is in his jejenum so everything bypasses his stomach where the stomach acid should kill things. Hopefully the next three days of this medicine will help because so far the antispasmodic drops have seemed to make his stomach pain worse! Yikes. Thankfully if this doesn’t help all I have to do is call her up and move on to plan B.

After his appointment we went to The Leonardo  in Salt Lake City. They have a mummy display right now. Jahnna has been studying Egypt off and on for three years now. She is fascinated with it and recently saw a project on how to mummify a chicken. I put my foot down on that experiment. Sorry, no amount of pleading and begging is going to convince me to help her mummify a chicken! It’s an expensive exhibit so I figured John and her could go through the mummy portion and I would take Colby and Riley to the rest of the museum. Riley effectively stopped that when she started singing “Mummy I love you!” on the way down to SLC. She wanted to go so bad. So we all went.

I wish I could have taken pictures in the exhibit because Riley followed Jahnna around to each part of it and let Jahnna read each plaque to her. Even some adults listened to her. I was telling Jahnna she needed to keep her voice down when a nice gentleman standing next to her said “No, don’t stop her! I’m listening too!” They loved it and spent almost two hours inside reading and learning new things.

John laughed at me because on the very first human mummy I was listening to Jahnna read but I hadn’t actually looked at the mummy yet because I was getting Colby a new movie on his iPad. He was less than impressed with the mummies and wanted nothing to do with the entire thing. I turned to ask Jahnna if they knew if it was a male or female and right as I did so glanced at the mummy and said in kind of a shocked voice “Oh, it’s definitely a male!” Seriously I don’t think John could have laughed any harder. Thankfully the girls had no idea and it passed right over their heads because I wasn’t really prepared to discuss mummified male anatomy at that moment. I think I just expected him to be wrapped up like you see in most pictures. We got a good laugh out of it!

If you are here in Utah and want to see a really cool exhibit I’d encourage you to go while it’s still here. For the record this isn’t a review of the museum or the exhibit it was just a fun family day. The rest of the museum was nice but wasn’t spectacular and I’m glad we didn’t end up getting a family pass for the year. It ended up being a fun family day was yet another reminder of why I’ve enjoyed having Jahnna be able to homeschool. Eventually, I’d like to pull all three kids but for now it’s been a great experience for Jahnna and it’s fun to see her thriving and learning.

Happy 5th Survivor Day

Five years ago was the day Colby had his stroke. How time flies once you get past the first year of recovery. That first year felt like ten. The last year for Colby felt like it was only a month or two long. The last year felt much longer for many other reasons but Colby definitely wasn’t one of them. He’s come a long way in the last year. We’ve tried a couple of different things like Serrapeptase which helped him be a lot more verbal. He’s wanting to do more things instead of just watch t.v. all day. He’s interacting with more people outside of school. I actually left him with a friend the other day for several hours and he didn’t have a complete melt down.

Of course he’s still a total stinker about some things like every week at therapy half way through it, he says he’s all done and won’t work anymore. He threw complete temper tantrums on the bus ride home every day until we figured out he just wanted to watch a movie because he was so bored. I can’t blame him an hour on the bus every day is pretty boring.

He’s still not a big fan of school. That’s pretty much an understatement. He thinks he should be able to stay home everyday and do nothing but play video games with his dad all day. He’s already started glaring at me when I mention the “S” word. School is such a naughty word!

I’ve been thinking today about some of the things I’ve learned over the last 5 years. Colby’s stroke isn’t just his. It’s affected us all. Jahnna is struggling with a friend who doesn’t understand what it’s like to have a brother with disabilities, John is worried about what will happen if his cancer comes back and how that will affect Colby and how he will be cared for, Riley so far hasn’t said to awful much so far but she’s never known any better. However, when I think of all the negative things I could focus on it always gets drowned out by the positive things that have happened.

Colby’s stroke has introduced us to more people than I can count. We’ve had the opportunity to let other’s into our lives in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve seen the goodness and compassion of a community come together to support a boy they didn’t know. I’ve felt so much love, more than I could ever express. I’ve learned to appreciate the small and simple things in life. I’ve learned how to be grateful for things I took for granted. I’ve learned the true meaning of exhaustion and have seen will power stronger than I could have ever known to exist. I’ve seen triumph over something as something as seemingly insignificant as a single step or knocking over a tower of blocks.

Every day I am so grateful  that I am blessed to be able to care for and love Colby. I’m blessed to be his mother. Today more days than most I am so thankful for the amazing spirit and fight that boy has. I’m so thankful for his stubborn will to live, to fight the odds that were given him, for his smile, his laugh and his mischievous grin when he knows he’s being naughty. Today is the day we celebrate life!

 

 

 

 

 

Writer’s block? Life block? Blogging block?

Who knows what it was but for whatever reason I could not form a blog post over the last four months for anything! I’ve logged on several times and stared at this section and never found anything to type. Maybe it’s because the routine of our life had gotten a little to routine. Maybe, it was because I felt like I had nothing else worthwhile to say. I think in part I finally was processing some of the emotions I put on hold from when John’s brain cancer was diagnosed. I’ve gotten so used to going into “medical mode” and dealing with what ever was going on as long as it wasn’t dealing with what was in my head.

I think another part of it was that Colby had a near constant sinus infection during this entire time. We’d hit it with antibiotics, it would go away for a week, then it would come back stronger. Poor kiddo was miserable and I blame the entire thing on his aide on the school bus! Entirely her fault! (Amy if you are reading this I’m sort of kidding!) She asked me back in January what I did to keep Colby so healthy. He was the only one who never missed days of school. Of course, Colby being the backwards boy took that into his head and decided that if other kids could stay home by being sick he’d have to get in on that action too!

Thirdly, (Is that a word? Oh well, I’m sticking with it.) John hasn’t been to work since February! It’s been nice since we’ve only had one car since last July to not have to take him to work and pick him up every day. Do you know though that men have an entirely different idea of how a day should go? How homeschooling should go? How chores should be done and at what time? Did you know that you could have a perfectly acceptable and workable plan to life and accomplishing the things you do every single day and it can all get shot down by the Army deciding to put your husband into the Wounded Warrior program? It can!

I’m not complaining. I’m really not. We work well together as a team mostly because I let him take charge and tweak things the way I want them after he gets done doing his thing. Is that bad? If it is I’m not changing. It’s worked well for us for almost ten years so I suppose it’s going to continue.

As far as John and the cancer go (drum roll please…..) he officially completed his last round of chemo two weeks ago! He doesn’t have to go back to the oncologist until July. Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t be down in SLC during June. In fact we just got home two hours ago from Colby’s Deep Brain Stimulation doctor. Colby also has Botox/Phenol injections at the end of this month. The doctor is very pleased with how well John handled the chemo, his recovery from surgery and his attitude about all of this. So for now we just wait and see. The doctor said it would be unusual to see any regrowth before five to ten years which is much better than the original three to five years we were first told. Plus he also told us there are three new medicines in stage 2 and 3 trials that are showing very promising results for the more aggressive brain cancers. He thinks by the time John has a re-occurrence that they will definitely be on the market so if the Temador doesn’t work a second time we will have more options available at that point and won’t have to go straight to radiation. Of course we’re still hoping that it never comes back but like I said before, I do much better dealing with things knowing what I’m facing instead of hoping for the best. Just the way  I am I guess.

I feel bad! All three kids had their birthdays and I forgot to write them birthday posts. I hope that someday they understand that I’m doing the best I can and they’ll forgive me for it. I think I’m trapped somewhere in time a few years ago. I keep thinking Riley is 3 and Colby is 5. Jahnna doesn’t seem to me to be younger probably because she’s begging to wear makeup and for us to buy her a cell phone. She just turned 9 and cannot understand that I didn’t even have my own computer until I was in my 3rd year of college and that I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in college. We haven’t had a home phone for over two years now and I don’t think she even remembers that we did have one. Funny girl.

Colby turned 7! Where has the time gone? Part of him will forever be 2 in my mind chasing his dad down the street trying to get on a skateboard. He’s gotten big. He looks like a 7 year old. Like a little boy and not a baby. He’s such a trash talker! It’s probably good that most people can’t understand what he says because man can that boy talk smack! It’s a good thing he’s so dang cute though.

Riley has a new nickname it’s “Chugga chugga choo choo train wreck!” I am not sure I have a seen a kid run into a wall as many times as she has. She can walk down the street and trip over nothing. She absorbs dirt and mess where ever she goes and is constantly getting into trouble no matter who she is with. I think she currently has 3 band aids in different places on her legs from either skinning her knee or having the back tire of her bike run over her leg. I still haven’t figured out how she managed that one but she’s done it three times this week. It’s hard to believe that she’s 5 already. It seems like we haven’t lived her for 5 years so how can she be that old already?

If you’ve read this entirely too long post I’ll have to reward you with a picture! ;) Here is Colby and Riley getting ready to blow out the candles on their birthday cake. I’ll try and post some more pictures soon.

What to write?

I know it’s been awhile since I last updated. I have so much to write and don’t know what to write about all at the same time. This last round of chemo went well. John was tired but not as tired as the round before. He will get his blood drawn this Friday and hopefully his platelets didn’t drop with this lower dose.

John went to Arizona with his brother the Sunday after his chemo ended. I figured it would be good for him to get out of the house  and spend some time with his brother. He had a lot of fun. It wore him out but not as bad as he thought it would. Of course it did help when they broke down in Page, Arizona for two and a half days and had nothing to do but sit and sleep in a hotel room. They finally got a rental car left my brother in laws work truck there and came home. I was happy for him to come home but not as happy as the kids were.

Him being gone was depressing. I have never liked when he leaves but this felt different. It’s the first time he’s been gone for longer than one night since we found out about the brain cancer. It was so quiet after the kids went to bed and I found my thoughts drifting to places I didn’t want to go. Those what would I do if this was for real kind of thoughts. If he doesn’t beat this cancer or it comes back faster than we hope. If it’s two years instead of fifteen or twenty? How do I explain this to Colby whose heart was broken ever single day his dad was gone. How do I raise my children with out their father and my best friend by my side? I really try not to think thought like that. It’s so depressing but how do not think them?

There are days when I’m so scared it takes my breath away. I think that more than anything is why I haven’t written much this month. If I type it out maybe it will come true. Except that I know that’s not how it works. I know there is a plan. I know there is a purpose  to all of this except knowing that still doesn’t make it easy or maybe I should say easier. The low platelets and having to lower the dose scared me. It wasn’t supposed to work that way this soon in his treatment plan.

So those are the things that have been going through my mind lately. I’m trying to focus on not being so scared. On the positives and not the negatives. I figured that I needed to write down a little of how I’ve felt this month so that when we do beat this I can look back and say to myself “See, you were scared but you got over it, grew and moved on” Or at least that’s what I hope will happen.

In other news. I was incredibly sick the week John was gone. I actually considered taking some of Colby’s hydrocodone I had left over from his stomach surgery because my throat hurt so bad. I couldn’t talk for two days because my voice was gone. I finally started taking some Olive Leaf Extract and Grapefruit Seed Extract nasal spray after my antibiotics didn’t help. Sometimes natural is the way to go! Except when it isn’t. I gave Colby the Olive Leaf Extract and some Grapefruit Seed Extract Oil through his feeding tube in the hopes that he wouldn’t get it from me. I still can’t do his shaky vest on him to help him get the mucus out of his chest. It makes him throw up blood ever since the new feeding tube was placed. Anyway, it worked in that he didn’t get sick but it didn’t totally detox all of his Botox shots out of him so now he is super spastic again. I feel horrible because his muscles are so tight again and it hurts. I didn’t even think about it affecting his shot sites because it’s never happened before. That GSE is some potent germ fighting stuff. Anyway, I called and scheduled him for new shots but that won’t happen until November. I will have to up his Baclofen dose until then to help him be comfortable so there goes his head and trunk control. I wish he could talk to me and tell me what hurts so I can help him more. I’ll just keep trying to walk that fine line with him in keeping him comfortable/giving him functional muscle control the best I can until then.

Riley is loving preschool. She didn’t even look back her first day. She comes home so excited about what she’s learned. Jahnna is still doing well with her home school. She is completely off her antidepressant. Still on a sleeping pill at night and a mood stabilizer for the bi-polar but at least one of her meds is gone. I have noticed a difference in her self esteem since coming off of it though. She’s back to saying she’s stupid and can’t do anything when she makes a small mistake. I try and boost her self esteem every way I can because she is a really intelligent girl. Eight is way to young to have to deal with a poor self image.

So, that’s been our September. I’m hoping October is better. MRI is scheduled for Oct 7th so here’s hoping and praying it’s another clean scan!

First Grade

Colby was not happy yesterday when I reminded he that school started today. He cried huge tears! This morning he was really spastic while he was being dressed and was fighting it the entire time. Finally he settled down and seemed resigned to the fact that he was going.

I even got him to count with me all the way to number 6! He said school, one, two, three, four, five and six. He told John, Love you. He’s definitely saying more all the time. You have to really listen because the words are still garbled but they are words!

Here is the end result right before the bus came.

and because Riley could not be in a picture here she is pajamas and all.

Colby, I hope your new year is fantabulous just like you! (yes it’s my made up word but I like it!)

Happy 4th Survivor Day

Four years ago was the day we realized Colby had a stroke. There are parts of me that still haven’t accepted that. Then there are the parts that have already forgotten what it was like before this was our normal.

Before our life was filled with physical therapy and occupational therapy, before I had doctors appointments scheduled every two to three months, before I knew that you could use Botox for something other than wrinkles on your forehead. Before we had suction machines, oxygen concentrators, walkers and enough medical equipment to stock a hospital room in our home.

Before I found out what a strong spirit our little man has. Before I realized how amazing my kids are, not that I didn’t think they were amazing I just didn’t know HOW amazing they are.  Before I knew what it was possible to make it through without giving up even on days you want to. Before I knew what a single step or word meant. Before I saw miracles in the small every day things.

Colby is a fighter. His body  might not work the way he wants it to. He might get frustrated but he never gives up. Ever. Yesterday he was in his walker and he wanted to stop so bad. I asked him to give me two more steps. He tried to make me think he was going to give up. He cried for a few minutes and then looked at me out of the corner of his eye, pulled himself together and gave me those two steps. He might try to make me think he’s ready to give up but he never does. He has more fight in him than anyone I’ve ever met.

The anniversary of Colby’s stroke will always be a bitter-sweet day for me. It’s the day he chose to live but it’s also the day he lost most of the abilities we take for granted. Today is the day I remind myself of how lucky our entire family is. I get to hold my little man a little closer today. Kiss him a few more times and tell him how much I love him over and over again. Today is the day I will remind his sisters how lucky we all are to be together. Today we celebrate life.

 

Serrapeptase and talking

I’ve been researching serrapeptase for a little while now. I don’t have a specific link to direct you to on it. It’s a silk worm enzyme and it’s suppose to help with Alzheimer’s and neuron regrowth. Supposedly there are no side effects but if you look it up long enough you eventually find that it can cause nausea and muscle cramping or spasms. Can you see why I’ve been a little reluctant to try it with Colby? He’s already throwing up and having muscle spasms. I don’t want to make it worse!

Anyway this last week I’ve had three different people tell me about it so I figured I ought to go get some and at least give it a try. What are the odds that three different people are going to bring up a relatively rare supplement  concerning brain health in one week? I think I’m finally starting to learn how to listen to my instincts and go with promptings. Anyway. I started Colby on one pill yesterday and last  night I asked him if he wanted me to go pick up pizza or if he wanted dad to go pick up pizza. He looked right at me and clearly said “You go”

First off I realize that 4 hours after 1 supplement is way to soon to tell if it’s going to help. Can you say placebo effect? Anyway I was really surprised by it. He talks and he says things but very few of those words are clearly said and for two words to be put together so clear almost never happens.

Today I was getting him ready for therapy and he was throwing up. He was being ornery and didn’t want me to leave the room to put his walker in the truck or get his shoes. We’d tried the walker earlier in the morning and he screamed as soon as I buckled him in. There is no working with him when he is doing that. So I took him out. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give him another pill before we went so while I was getting his 1:00 meds together I added in another capsule of the serrapeptase. Two and a half hours later we’re ready to head out just as his show is ending. The little PBS Kids song came on and he giggled and said “PBS kids!” I almost dropped him I was so surprised! The look on his face was pure pride!

Off we went to therapy (remind me why I take the girls with me? they were awful) the therapist looked at him and said “Colby I think today you are going to have a break out day!” And you know what? He DID! When we got done the therapist said that today was the best day he’s ever had in almost 4 years of working with him!

He was walking in his walker. He advanced both feet forward on his own. He was pushing his feet on his own. Of course when he got tired 15 feet into it they started dragging a bit but he hasn’t had any muscles to work with in 4 years so 15 feet is a huge effort for him. He was turning his head side to side and he never really went into a full extension like he usually does. His legs get locked when that happens, his back arches and it’s pretty painful.

After we took him out of the walker we played hall ball. He sits on a bolster with the therapist and he helps Colby hit a big blow up ball down the hall. He was using his arms, his feet stayed flat on the floor. That in and of itself is a major accomplishment. Usually when he uses his arms his legs come up in a frog leg pattern. They never stay on the floor. He was looking for the ball and he was flinching when he was trying to swing which is great because it means he was actually tracking the movement of the ball! He had great trunk control and was looking around. The smile on his face was huge!

So, is it to early to tell if this is helping him? Probably but there’s nothing else to explain it. All my wishful thinking in the world can’t make his body work the way he wants it to. I’m hoping and praying that this will continue to help him and that we will see some more improvements soon.

We were in the newspaper!

To crazy! We were in the newspaper on Saturday. If you want to read it, you can go to LDS Church News to read it. If you aren’t familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints you can go to  LDS.org to learn more.  It might seem weird to see them say Sister or Brother Amundsen if you didn’t know that’s what religion we belong to.  Just to clarify in the article it says Jahnna has ADHD, ODD and is Bi-Polar. She is only Bi-Polar. I don’t think I did a good job of explaining the whole story. At various points she has been diagnosed ADHD or ODD but only until she had her first manic episode at age 6. That is when she was finally diagnosed as Bi-Polar.

Also as an MRI update we still don’t have results. We go see the neuro oncologist on Friday so I’m hoping by then we will have heard something or that he will have the results then. This MRI was actually ordered by the neuro surgeon at the original office we went to. It’s a whole complicated confusing system since he is being followed by two different teams at this point. They are sharing information though so that’s why I’m hoping we’ll know by Friday.

We did get back his first blood work results this morning and those numbers looked great. It means he is good to go for round # 2 of Chemo starting Sunday night. This will be his first full dose of the treatment and he is not looking forward to it. Half strength has already made him so tired. It’s also playing with his immune system. Right now he has the hugest cold sore I’ve ever seen on his chin. He hasn’t had a cold sore in over two years. We’ve been putting some cream stuff on it for three days. You know the kind that’s $20 for a teeny tiny tube and is supposed to clear it up in 24 hours. It isn’t helping. Also his ingrown toenail that he had fixed right before starting the first round hasn’t completely healed yet either. It’s frustrating to him since he always healed fairly quickly before this.

Colby and I got our teeth cleaned today. Colby did really well considering his teeth are awful! Well, his gums are awful. They bleed all the time. The dentist wants to see him every 4 months instead of 6 months. His back teeth are completely ground down smooth so he wants to hold off on capping them until we absolutely need to. I’m good with that. He wants to put a sealant on twelve of my teeth. I’ve been grinding my teeth the last year (stress, much?) and I’m starting to have the beginnings of some cavities where I’ve cracked my teeth. Good times.

I’m really hoping that John’s truck gets fixed this Thursday. That’s the plan for now anyway. Then I’ll be able to fit everyone in the truck at once.

That’s about it for now. As soon as I hear about the MRI I’ll post an update. Thanks for all the prayers and support. I draw strength from knowing they are being said.

Finding the silver lining

The past two weeks have flown by for a variety of reasons. We’ve had so much go on that I’ve decided I need to focus on the good things that have happened. If you look hard enough there’s always a silver lining to your trials, right? I hope so, so I’m looking hard!

The most important is that John completed his first round of chemo! He did pretty good. It made him tired but no throwing up or anything like that. It was just a half dose so I’m sure the full dose is going to make him more tired but if that’s all it does that will be fabulous! He starts his next round in August after two blood tests next week and the following week.

Colby started summer school. He HATES it. Different teacher that is a man so I’m actually not surprised. Colby is a flirt so of course he likes his regular teacher better. I don’t think we’ll do summer school next year. It’s a nice break for me but every morning he gets so sad and pleads with me not to put him on the bus. Those puppy dog eyes of his kill me every morning! Little stinker knows how to get mom to give him what he wants!

My car died in the drive through at the pharmacy last week. We all thought it was the starter. John, his brother Rob and I spent all weekend just trying to find the stupid starter in the car. After we couldn’t find it (yes, I know you should be able to follow the positive battery cable to it but it disappeared!) we started testing other things on it. There was no compression in the engine. At that point we knew it wasn’t the starter and that we had a much bigger problem on our hands.

I had it towed into a shop on Monday. Tuesday he called and asked me how I was doing. I replied with “I don’t know, you tell me! How am I doing?” His response was “Weeeeel we don’t know what’s wrong with it. I need to take off the valve cover and take a look inside the engine because my x-ray vision isn’t working today”. Yes that’s what he said. I should have told him no but I was still hoping it might just be the timing belt or something while expensive not the end of my engine. He called back on Wednesday. The car has had a “catastrophic engine failure” again those are his words not mine! Good grief my car was only a 2005 and it only had 73,000 miles on it. It’s not supposed to do that for at least another 50,000 to 70,000 miles. I think I might have said before that you truly can’t make my life up! You can’t it’s not possible to have this much stuff happen to one family in a fictional story! People just wouldn’t believe it.

He wants $4,400 to replace the engine. I just laughed. Sure let me write you a check for that! As it is I now owe him a $150 just to tell me my engine is shot!

In good news I called the health insurance company about retrofitting a mini van to be wheelchair accessible. The will pay for a lift and installation just not any physical modifications to the vehicle. I really didn’t think they would cover anything so to hear that they will pay for a $20,000 lift is beyond outstanding! Now I just gotta get my hands on a mini van. Anybody have one they wanna give me? Just kidding! I know it’s not that simple but I can dream right?

In the mean time I’m driving this beauty my in-laws lent me!

camo truckDon’t hate me because you are jealous! Just kidding! Actually I’m incredibly thankful to have anything to drive at all. John’s ball joints on his truck are bad and it needs new tires before it can be driven and I already told you my car is dead. It was kind of fun to drive to Salt Lake City Tuesday for Colby’s doctor appointments. You should see some of the looks I got, especially with Colby’s wheelchair in the back. Ugh that hurt my back to lift it in and out that high but it’s okay. It’s wheels and it got us there.

The surgeon said Colby’s surgery site looks great. He didn’t actually change the tube like he said he was going to. He would have needed an x-ray after that and I know how to change it already so he was fine just leaving it in for now. Next we headed over to the neurologist and this is where I really wanted to bang my head on a wall! Almost did to!

Last August we put a Deep Brain Stimulator in Colby. We had been adjusting it every month but due to all the craziness we haven’t adjusted it in over 5 months. We went in and talked about the two programs I ran on him. One of them sent him into huge spasms and the other one I couldn’t tell any difference with. Dr. S. decided that she wanted to shut it off and see what happened. That way we would be able to see if there was any difference in him at all. She shut it off and he immediately went limp! Absolutely rag doll floppy! This is what it’s supposed to do when it’s on, not when it’s off! I really just about burst into tears. Dr. S. said “Well I wasn’t really expecting that! I’ve seen it happen but it wasn’t what I wanted to see.” Anyway it’s been off since Tuesday and he’s exactly the same as he was with it on. Basically it means that the two contacts we’ve been using this entire time are doing nothing for the spasticity. We still have 4 contacts left to try but that just cut down our options significantly. I am supposed to call them and let them know what happened after I left. Maybe I’ll do that this afternoon.

And just because I can’t end on a bad note, here is this cute picture. Riley climbed up into Colby’s bed and was holding his hand. I asked her what she was doing and she said “I just wanted to snuggle with my brother!”

snuggles

4th of July 2011

We were pretty low key this year for the fourth. We headed over to my in-laws house and had dinner. The kids played croquet until it got dark. Jahnna’s uncle taught her a card game and she beat him and two other friends of his. They were pretty surprised that an 8 year old could beat them. Jahnna’s pretty quick at picking up on games especially card games so she was very pleased with herself. After it started to get sort of dark we took our measly little selection of fireworks out to the street. I wasn’t to concerned that we didn’t have a lot because this was the first year aerials were street legal in Utah. Usually people would go to Wyoming to buy them and then smuggle them back and set them off here and there hoping the cops wouldnt’ show up. Not this time. My in-laws live up on a hill that over looks the whole valley and we had an awesome view of what everyone else spent their money on! I know totally cheating but since there were 4 other families on the street who bought aerials we didn’t feel to bad.

Here are a couple shots from the night. I was fighting with my camera all night so a lot of them aren’t great quality.

This shot is mostly for my dad. He was up in June for Jahnna’s baptism and he wondered if there would still be snow on the mountains on the fourth. Yup. It’s still there.

The kids love to skateboard down grandma and grandpas hill. John loves it to and I’m not sure who has more fun. This is Riley and John walking all the way  up to the top.

On their way down the hill. It flattens out right in front of Grandma’s house so it’s perfect for doing this.

I have no clue why this one is so dark. It was at the same exact time as everyone else. Jahnna loves to do this. She’s getting pretty good at actually skating up the hill but coming down is still a little to fast for her to stand up. She always looks so content coming back down the hill that it makes me smile.

skatingAnd of course Colby couldn’t be left out. I carried him up the hill and then ran (Okay fine, I walked really fast) down the hill to get this shot. Colby was laughing so hard because John kept telling him they were going to run me over. He still loves to skateboard even if it’s just sitting down.

The tail end of the sunset that night. It was gorgeous and a great night for the mosquitoes. They feasted on Colby and I until we thought about asking for some spray. My bites have finally gone away this morning.

fireworksIn between other people’s fireworks John would run out and light one on the street. He’s usually the master of the ceremonies on the 4th. Riley was so funny when the fireworks started going off. There were some at six different houses between the two streets and all she would say was “Oh look, the moon! It’s so beautiful!” I’m glad she appreciates nature and her surroundings but we couldn’t help laughing.

fireworksJahnna and Riley eating their pie and watching fireworks. Jahnna has a tight grip on the box we bought. She would choose one and then Riley would choose one. I think it’s the one night of the year they don’t really argue about taking turns.

fireworksThis crazy thing was a remote control airplane someone was flying through the fireworks. It was awesome! They were probably on the next street over but it looked like they have put red, white and blue glow sticks on it. It was pretty fun and who ever did it got a lot of oohs and ahhs from our crowd. All though John did say if he had some aerials he would have tried to shoot it down. Guess all that military training never really goes away! Just kidding of course he really wouldn’t have tried it.

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July. I know we did. Lucky for us Utah celebrates it’s statehood with Pioneer Days on the 24th so there will be more fireworks in another couple of weeks. Good times.

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