Friday, January 22, 2010

A Couple of Extras

I had the greatest time on Wednesday night. You see Faith is going to be Elizabeth Blackwell (the 1st woman doctor) in the Wax Museum on Wednesday night and Thursday morning at school. It is a great project that the 5th graders do at their school. Faith has to dress up to look like Elizabeth Blackwell and make a scene 3'x3' for the Museum. She will stand still for 20 minutes at a time while parents and students walk through the Museum. Fun stuff!!! So, back to my great time on Wednesday night - I decided to sew her costume and I had a marvelous time getting it cut out and prepared to sew. I had forgotten how satisfying sewing it. I absolutely LOVE it!!! I am making her a full skirt and a lab coat. I am now about halfway done and look forward to spending the next few days on them!

On Thursday night I had a great time with some of my church friends. Eight of us moms in the ward got together for a night of dinner (which I missed because of the Ancestor Dinner) and visiting. The visiting was great!! So nice to hang out with friends and not have to worry about what your kids are getting into or breaking up arguments!!

My Tuesday doctor's appointment went well. The latest scans show no growth - Dr. Cen called it "stable." That is really good news considering that I have had 9 weeks off of chemo. My blood levels are still a little low and that is concerning. Dr. Cen decided not to put off treatment any longer - but to instead give me a 50% dose of only one of the med and completely stop the other. So now I only take Etoposide and only 1/2 the dose - which makes my chemo now only 2 days a week and only 3 hours the first day and 1 hour the second. NICE!! The side effects should be considerable less - so we shall see. So far, so good. The biggest reason for stopping my Carboplatin is the neuropathy. It is awful. My hands and feet feel like they are asleep and tingle if anything touches them. My feet also feel swollen and numb and my balance isn't so good. I have fallen a few times, but never hit the floor - I am pretty good at catching myself. I am trying these socks now that are supposed to help with my feet and so far they seem to be helping - but I'm not sure if it is psychological or really helping. I guess time will tell. I hope the socks work - first because they are very expensive ($40 a pair) and second, it would sure be nice to not have my feet hurt!

All in all, things are going well. We bought David's books for school today and classes start on Monday. His schedule will be full - 5 classes, 15 units. He goes 5 days a week and we will miss having him around here, but I'm sure he will enjoy his semester. I have rediscovered my love of sewing and I hope to do more of it over the next few weeks. Other than that, we are just following the routine. I hope you are all doing well. Please know how much I appreciate your love and prayers, your thoughts and kind words - they totally keep me going, give me hope and make me feel great!! Having friends is a blessing that I have in great abundance! Thank you!!

Week in Review

On MLK Jr. Day my parents invited all of us to the movies - and by all of us I mean 17 grandkids and 7 adults (9 if you count G'ma & G'pa). We ended up with 16 grandkids and 7 adults. We saw "Fantastic Mr. Fox." The kids seemed to really enjoy it - I had to leave about halfway through with Nephi. We walked the mall and had a good time seeing all the things you can see at the mall.
Tuesday Gloria started preschool again and had a marvelous day. I must say, as much as I love this little girl, it was so nice to not have her talking to me for those 3.5 hours. She has so much to say all the time!! She has gone all week and loved making new friends, playing "pet store," coloring pictures, writing letters and getting stickers for working hard.

Tuesday was David's birthday. He is now 41 years old!! To celebrate we went to a doctor's appointment and then out to Leatherby's with my parents. Leatherby's is one of our favorite places and it was nice to visit with my parents.

Wednesday I was back in chemo. It was only 3 hours and I got a really nice nap. Thursday was more of the same - but less time. Then on Thursday night we went to an Ancestor Dinner for Vilate. She has been studying our ancestry for the past few months and as the culminating event we went to see her class sing some songs and then we all ate some really yummy foods from different countries. Hyrum was at scouts and we left the 2 little ones home with Grandma Eve. It was a nice evening,

Today we took Gloria on a school fieldtrip to the pet store. Helaman, Nephi and our friend Lorelei went with us. The kids got to pet a lizard, see the fish, pet a hamster and guinea pig and see some dogs getting groomed. They all walked away with a frisbee and had a great time.

So, we had a pretty busy week. Tomorrow is the Polar Bear Plunge - a ward activity where crazy kids and some really whacky adults jump into the Welch's pool. It is very entertaining! My kids look forward to it and the older 4 will get into the pool with the promise of a hot tub when they are done!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy 6th Birthday Helaman!!

Well, it's official - Helaman doesn't have to sit in a car seat anymore and I think that is his favorite birthday present! For his birthday we opened his presents - we got him a remote controlled dunebuggy and the Disney movie "Pete's Dragon." - then sent him off to school with Ding-Dongs to share with his class. He spent the day before his birthday at Kaiser getting x-rays on his right arm. Apparently Hyrum sat on his arm and it was still bothering him the next morning so I took him in. It is not broken just a little sprain, so he had to wear that splint for a few days. Good times!!We lucked out that his birthday was on a Friday night. We invited his entire class (with 23 kids), his cousins and some great friends to meet us at the church and we had movie night. We watched "Sharkboy and Lavagirl" on the big screen (thanks to Russ and Bishop Smith) with hot dogs (thanks Duckers), popcorn (thanks Tina), and licorice. We had a GREAT turn out and the movie was a good choice for all ages. We finished off the night by singing Happy Birthday, opening presents and cleaning the building. Wow - what a mess popcorn makes!!! Not the best photograph, but it gives you an idea of how full the room was. It was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who helped and everyone who came.
Helaman is a great kid. I love that he will share anything - as long as it's his idea. He loves to make people laugh and is the king of silly stuff around here. Helaman is a great baseball player and has been asked this next season to play with the older kids due to his skill and love of the game. He is so excited to be in Kindergarten and reading real books. He hates putting away laundry and cleaning his room and usually tries to sneak playing his DS when he should be doing his chores. He has a sweet smile - love the dimples - and his hugs are the greatest. I love you Helaman and I hope you enjoyed your birthday!!

New Year's Eve fun

On New Year's Eve we took the kids to John's Incredible Pizza. We got smart this time and went around 3pm and played games first, then ate at their great buffet. It was so nice that my kids actually ate this time and didn't bug us constantly during dinner to go and play. The kids really had a great time and David and I were able to better enjoy the whole experience!Nephi fell asleep on the way home in the car, but we let everyone else stay up and watch the Disney channel while we waited to ring in the New Year. We enlisted Grandma Eve to come over and watch the kids for a few hours so that David and I could pop-in to a Stake Date Night party. We played games and visited with wonderful friends for a couple of hours and then around 11:30 made our way back home to celebrate with the kiddos.

Poor Helaman, he made it to 11:15pm before he totally crashed on the couch. We tried more than once to wake him up for the poppers and sparkling cider, but he just was so asleep! In the morning he was so mad at all of us because he missed the party, so we let him do poppers and have sparkling cider for breakfast.
All in all it was a really fun day. The kids were a little disappointed that we didn't have a party like last year with friends to spend the night, but I think they enjoyed themselves.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Updating

Hi guys!! I didn't realize how far behind I had gotten. Give me a day or two and I will be caught up! Things around here have been busy and I am worn out, but I really need to catch up. So, my goal for the week is be all caught up by Thursday night...we shall see how it pans out....

The Snow

The Monday and Tuesday after Christmas we took the kids to the snow for the first time ever! My good friend, Dawn's parents have a cabin in Soda Springs (just West of Truckee) and they were generous enough to let us all come and stay for the night and play in the snow. With the supplies that they had there and then borrowing a few odds and ends from other friends, we were able to outfit everyone in snow clothes. We had snowball fights, went sledding and just loved playing together. We also brought up our new Wii so that once we got too cold we could have something fun to do inside. It was a great 2 days and I am so grateful for Dawn & Joe and their hospitality. I will have to post some pictures, but I was lazy and didn't take any of my own - I have to get them from Dawn!

Nephi's so talented

video
Here is some video of our talented little one. Vilate got a microphone for Christmas and we hooked it up through one of David's amplifiers. Nephi had a blast - so did everyone else - singing in the mic.

Elves do good work!!

Santa always leaves candy on the table and it stays out for the entire day. The kids love that they can eat candy all day long. This stuff lasted at least 4 days, as I recall. That's longer than ever before. I was really proud of myself this year. I had almost all of the presents wrapped a week before Christmas. I usually wrap most on Christmas Eve once the kids are in bed, but this year I only had to wrap around 5 and we were in bed before 10pm. I was so happy!
Each kid gets one or two presents from Santa and their stockings are usually overflowing. This is David's, mine, Nephi's and Faith's.
Here are Vilate's, Hyrum's, Helaman's and Gloria's. They were so excited in the morning!

We are so blessed to have such good friends and family. Our Christmas this year was phenomenal and would not have been so full of gifts if it were not for our very generous friends and family. Thank you all so much for your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity. Please forgive the lack of thank-you cards, but writing is becoming increasing difficult with the neuropathy that I am experiencing. We are so grateful to you for your love and support! We had a very Merry Christmas and hope you did as well!!

Traditions

I love traditions and I love that we have created some really fun traditions for Christmas. My ultimate favorite is carried over from when I was a kid. We go Christmas caroling on Christmas Eve to 5 or 6 families and deliver a plate of goodies. This year we started earlier than in years past. As soon as it got dark we headed over to our first stop. We always sing the same songs: "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph," followed by "We Wish You A Merry Christmas." Then we leave a plate of treats. We visited 5 houses and were home around 7pm. A perfect activity. When we got home the kids opened their new pair of jammies - another fantastic tradition. Here is the picture of them together in their new jammies.Following this picture we sent them to bed and Santa's elves got to work!

Christmas Eve

We had beautiful weather on Christmas Eve Day, so we took the kids outside to play on the playground. They spent their time riding bikes, scooters and skateboards, drawing with chalk and playing on the play structure. It was so fun!Faith drawing Santa going down a chimney.
Gloria at the top of the slide.
Hyrum lounging on the slide - he actually kept going down sideways, it was funny!

The Gingerbread House

I am going to confess here that I never have made a gingerbread house - a big one - with the kids. At preschool they have all done the milk carton/graham cracker ones but I have never done one at home - the potential for a mess was holding me back. This year a wonderful friend bought my kids this kit and we put it together. It was a huge mess, but it was a huge blast! Gloria loved sprinkling on the sprinkles and Nephi loved eating all the candy. The big kids were much more particular about where their things went and making patterns, but the little ones just thought it was marvelous to make a mess! Here's the finished project. How'd we do?

Breakfast with Santa

We had a great time at the Ward's Annual Breakfast With Santa. The waffles, pancakes, and sausage were yummy! Santa (actually a good friend of ours) was fantastic. The kids loved dressing up in different costumes for the manger scene. Nephi and I were the kings! It was a blast. The kids also loved the games of tag and chase that they got the other kids to all join in on. It was a good morning.
I am so grateful that we have these kind of activities for our family to go to and participate in. Our kids look forward to this particular activity every year and I love that we get to visit with our friends. Thanks go out to all the people that worked so hard on this activity!!