Sunday, August 28, 2016


First Day of 1st Grade
We've had a few "firsts" going on here this week.

First day of school for the public school kids.

First day of First Grade for Aaron.

Moving out day for three of the olders (okay, that's not a first for most of them).

First time since the fall of 1998 I haven't had (at least) two kids in the same school.

First day in almost 25 years I haven't had a small child around for at least half the day.

5th Grade
Jr year
8th Grade
Tomorrow will be the college kids' first day of school, so I'll be trying to snag a picture of Deborah before she heads out, but I'm not counting on the ones who are already gone to get me a first day picture, so they'll have to make do with moving day pictures.

And in just over a week, Matthew will leave for the Missionary Training Center and be on his way.

This is getting kinda weird.

And funny.

Moving Day
Mary -- last year of college
Jonathan & David,
1st and 2nd year of college

We had a jam packed weekend with soccer games, work schedules, a cub scout campout that William and the older boys were staffing, and a SOFT picnic for me, Aaron and whoever else could come along, plus evening church meetings.

The initial plan for Friday was for me to leave about 2:45, take Joseph down to work in Provo, pick up another kid on the way back and try to get back here as close to 4:00 as I could so the other young man could be helping with the campout.  Except about 11:00, he called and asked if it would be easier for me if he just got a ride up here on his own.  Sure!  Anything I don't have to do makes life easier, right?  Well, it wasn't until about 1 p.m.! that I realized I couldn't leave at 2:45.  Aaron doesn't even get home until almost 4:00.

And then about 2:00, I looked over to where the wheelchair is (belongs) to make sure the ventilator was plugged in and charging, and NO WHEELCHAIR!  I was irritated, and a but stumped as to who moved the wheelchair and to where, because it wasn't where it belonged.  And just as I was starting to ask where it was and who had moved it, I realized exactly where it was.

At school, with Aaron, who wasn't due home for a couple more hours.

Yep, I think Mama's finally losing it.

 On Wednesday as we were driving from Mary's apartment to the boys, they were talking about which superpower they would chose if they could have one.  I said I wanted to be able to go without needing sleep and still function.  And then replied to my own comment, "Oh, yeah, I already do that."

Maybe I need to rethink that.

My kids are just shaking their heads, and laughing at me.

Christine Feehan

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Crazy Busy Life

I keep meaning to find time to write, but even finding time to sleep has been a bit elusive lately.

We've had a soccer tournament, multiple doctor appointments, Make A Wish, back to school nights, a missionary farewell, and all sorts of "fun" with equipment (4, FOUR! concentrator issues this week alone).

But all in all, we're still truckin' along, moving forward (and losing my mind).

Aaron is doing relatively well.  We're back inside our surgery window, only five more weeks, which really can't come soon enough.  Poor baby keeps dealing with an ear infection in his right ear, the one that doesn't currently have a tube in it.  He's ruptured that eardrum four times now since the second week of July.  It makes for all sorts of fun with his oxygen.  See, when it hurts, he doesn't breathe well, doesn't oxygenate well, and we scramble to keep him home.  So far so good, but I'll breathe better myself once we can get this taken care of.

School starts tomorrow for the public school kids and the college kids move out on Wednesday.  Aaron even has a nurse, so he gets to start tomorrow, too.  First time in 25 years I haven't had a kid home at least half the day.  Can't wait to see how this plays out.

Make A Wish came in last week and installed a big screen TV along with a bunch of peripherals that he is absolutely LOVING!  He gets so excited for movies and Sesame Street.  They also brought balloons, one of his very favorite things in the whole world.  So much fun!

He made it to the Alpine Days Parade again, hasn't missed a year yet.  But side effect of his ear surgery in March where they opened up his ear canal is that he is hearing better.  And with that increased hearing comes a not so fun part where the loud noises scare him.  While he loves the guys at Lone Peak Fire, he's not that fond of their sirens.  Big crocodile tears...

On another note, I had an interesting experience at  the middle school during back to school night this week.  While we were waiting for a teacher to finish visiting with another parent, a younger sibling of that student came up and in a somewhat loud voice exclaimed, "I like his face!"


I was a little taken aback.  His face?  I couldn't figure it out, and I wondered why Mom wasn't intervening.  I remarked that he was a little tired, but he liked making new friends.

She went on and asked how old he was.  I told her and she announced that she was almost eight.  I asked when her birthday was, and she told me.  About that time I realized something.  Well, two somethings.

She apparently has her own challenges.  She was all sorts of excited as she described her upcoming party, but her words and gestures were much closer to two or three than almost eight.

And I was guilty of assuming the negative.  I thought she was making fun of Aaron, or something else like that.  She was simply an excited little girl who was probably bored with the evening (I know my kids were), who wanted to make a new friend.  And she was much more open-minded and open-hearted than I was.  As she left, I wished her a very happy upcoming birthday.  I hope it's all she dreams it will be.

And I hope I remember the lesson she taught me.

"An open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop 
a worthwhile thought in it."
-Mark Twain

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Continued Struggles

Big brothers are the best.
We're still home, but we're still struggling a bit.  Not quite as much as last week, but not where he should be.

I didn't bag him this week (I know, crazy when that's your "victory") and I only had to resort to the oxygen tank a few times.  But this is taking much, much longer to get back to his baseline than it usually does.  He's also tolerated the speaking valve, but only a little bit.  Again, I'm scratching my head.

Deborah and Nick
So there's been some tough times going on in between my ears.  You know, what next, what if, what have I missed...

BUT on the flip side, he has gotten out and about a bit.  Just not for as long as he normally would.  And I guess, a part of my worry there is that school is (supposed to be) starting soon, and it will be a full day, at least in theory.

Watching from the sidelines.
We also have a glitch there.  See, we STILL don't have a school nurse for him.  It starts two weeks from tomorrow, and ain't no way I'm letting someone walk out the door with him that I'm not confident can handle anything he (or his airway) can throw at them.  Yep, we're getting down to the wire.  So PLEASE, if you know anyone who wants to spend their days with this cutie, send them my way.  They do have to be an RN or LPN to be considered because they're being hired by the school district.  And the hours are roughly 8-4 M-F on the school calendar.  Here is a link to the listing.
Jonny and Katie

Last week we actually made it through a week without any doctor's appointments.  I'd knock on wood, except he's already scheduled for one this week (ears) and two next week (check-up and gum surgery post-op).  Next week, in addition to the regularly scheduled craziness, will bring Make A Wish out to work on his wish, a soccer tournament, and another pancake breakfast, parade, and big brother Matthew's missionary farewell talk.  I'm trying not to think about how that's all going to fit together.
Deborah and Larry

But yesterday and Friday brought outings with big kids.  Friday, he went to a ballroom competition to watch Deborah and Jonny compete.  It was Jonny's first comp in two and a half years, and they looked really good.  Deborah and her Latin partner placed 2nd in their first event and 6th in their second, and she and her smooth partner (1st comp for that partnership) made some cuts as well.  Fun times.

Where did that noise come from?
Yesterday found Aaron supervising at a pancake breakfast at the Highland Fling.  He did pretty well, if I do say so myself.  Food was good, company was fun, and there was a parade at the end of it all.  I do have to say though that he did not appreciate the sirens, again.  We may have to skip the beginning of parades for a while.  Although crying does open up the lungs really, really well.  Poor baby.  He was fascinated with Joseph's big sousaphone.

Making sure we flip those pancakes right.
Thursday, a great guy came out and did family pictures for us.  It's the first we've been able to do for three and a half years, and there's a very good chance it will be four years before we're all back together again.  And who knows what all will happen in the meantime.  So a huge shout out to Steve Peters of Embre Photography for doing this for us.  I can't wait to see the proofs.

So all in all, it's a crazy, busy, finish up the summer, slide sideways into the school year time around here.

 Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.” 
― George R.R. Martin