Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let the Summer BEGIN!

First Dunk of the Season
First Time ever swimming at Grandma's pool

Summertime is when we:
Wear as little as legally possible and

Go barefoot 24 hours a day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

She's Baaaack

Judging from the smile and the cute pink nose-I think camp was a success. Suddenly the decibel level in our home rose a few notches.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Colour du Jour

I love Red.

Red exercise ball.
Red pillows (they look nasty and dirty to me-ug-I think it's just feathers)

Red bed (ooh-rhyming)

Cool red platter-gift from Jessica

My cool red chaise.

Red scrapbooks.

It may seem that my whole house is's not.
There is a shocking lack of red in my..
I love red. I don't wear red. Note to self-ponder this fact.

Challenge to family & friends: What is your colour du jour? Post immediately.....
**Edited-post on your blog......

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Update on Elder Steve

I'm having major issues with my computer. It was in the computer hospital yesterday afternoon up until this morning and Blogger is being weird too-so here goes:
This is where he is......sort of.....Nashville TN
There seems to be a lot of this type of photo....guess they're deciding whose turn it is to clean the apartment.

It's really cold in Nashville in the winter.......
Glad to know he is learning some skilz-like leaping tall buildings on a single bound. Who says Mormon missionaries aren't supermen???
Men In Black
A good GQ pose.
Birthday Boy in March.

Oh-it's a BOY! (his new greenie)
Glad to know he is working hard....

(He mentions this market in his tape-the owner is a member and they love to go there and get free food!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

She's Off!

It's that time of year again....

And she's enjoy another year of the highs and lows of girls camp, hopefully to strengthen her testimony and have a little fun.
I want to take a moment to give thanks and appreciation for all the Young Women's leaders out there who manage to take a bunch of hormone-laden teenage girls and make girls camp a wonderful experience. I admire you-I thank you-and I'm glad I'm not you!!! (I already gave my heartfelt thanks to the leaders this morning)

As I'm reflecting on girl's camp, I realize that I have never been to girls camp. Not once-ever-as a young woman. I went once when I was a stake YW leader and 7.8 months pregnant with Miss Liss above but that's the extent of my girl's camp experience. It seemed like my dad always planned our family vacation to coincide exactly with the date of girl's camp so inside of singing camp songs and toilet papering the neighbor's tent, we were trekking through Utah in the family camper or somewhere else in the western U.S. And I don't think I'm really unhappy about that.
Manana: Elder Steve's latest photos......postponed due to the meningitis intermission.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MFF and Macho-ness

My Saturday the spirit of preparedness.....
From this:
To this:
To this:
I know, I know-some people out there may think I'm really weird but this just really lights my fire....frosts my cookies.....floats my boat....or whatever you want to call it. Going from garden to bottle to my chicken pot pie-well, it's just really cool. MFF: Mom's Fast Food. I have bottled chicken and I whipped that pot pie out in no time at all......Who needs Taco Bell??

Macho Silliness:
Why is it whenever guys get together-
They have to participate in some sort of macho competition???

Guess who won? Hint-not Bubba D.
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

(Comment from one son-this is probably going to end up on mom's're absolutely right sonny!)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Breaking News!

President Monson just announced another temple for AZ! To be built in Phoenix, AZ

Not a Whole Lot of Swimming Going On

Since part of the purpose of my blog is to document history, I just had to post this photo. Yesterday I learned it has never rained here on May 23rd in the history of the weather-oh, since they started keeping weather records some 100+ odd years ago. So for this long Memorial Weekend holiday, I don't think this is going to get much use...
Or this....

But since I live in the desert, I would never complain about getting rain. My garden is happy, my grass is happy, my body is happy......just a nice respite from the heat..............Chicken soup anyone?

Friday, May 23, 2008

What is Wrong With These Photos?

Hint #1: May 22, 2008
Hint #2: City in AZ.....

Get it yet?
Rain on Grad night=Graduation in gym with only 1/2 of graduating class-the other half is in the auditorium-not held on soggy,football field in the pouring rain.
It was somewhat disappointing to the kids-we were only allowed 2 tickets per student so Bubba D's loud, screaming siblings weren't there to cheer him on when the big moment arrived but we did our best with the weakened TL who made it to graduation---YEAH.... Now for the out of state relatives & Grandparents:

Anticipating the big moment.... The BIG moment....

See- TL is good-I look like I weigh 300 pounds in this pic. That sweater won't see the light of day until next December.......

P.S. Four days ago it was 110....go figure.....but I vote for a nice respite in temperature like this at least every 10 days in the summer. My apologies to all you narthern folks--

P.P.S. It was FIFTY degrees cooler last night!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Deja vu Part 2-Lessons Learned

I knew immediately what I had to do. I had to get medical help quickly. I had already called TL's business partner and he rushed over to help me get him to urgent care. I knew he needed to be in the hospital but I thought that urgent care would be a quicker route to the hospital rather than waiting for hours in the ER with a very sick husband. I knew I couldn't do it alone again.

I just had to "gird up my loins" so to speak and push away the feelings of panic and terror that engulfed me. I felt a sense of inner calm inside and I knew things were going to be okay-just didn't know how soon.

JH (TL's business partner) came over and assisted me in getting him in and out of the car. We only spent about 30 min. in the urgent care-he was the first patient- and it became very obvious how ill TL was. The hospital was just across the street and we were in the ER in a matter of minutes and he got right in. By this time Jen (our oldest) had arrived and with her calm, efficient assistance we got things done (she is a nurse).

Thus begins the process of elimination. When trying to diagnose what is wrong, doctors generally make a list and then start crossing things off depending upon test results. The list became shorter as negative results came in, no stroke, no blocked carotids, and heaven only knows what else they were looking for-but then finally a positive diagnosis-meningitis-now to find out whether it was viral or bacterial. They isolated him in a room-made us gown and mask and anyone who came in had to gown and mask. By this time our oldest son had arrived and I felt his comforting arms around me bearing me up. By this time TL was very, very ill-with the same dementia type symptoms as the virus overwhelmed his body. I must say though, even as sick as he was, he was never quite as crazy as he was the 1st time.

We were sent upstairs in isolation and I made the first decision-I wasn't going to stay. Last time I was afraid to leave him. I knew what was going to happen, I knew that we had extremely competent medical help and I knew I couldn't jeopardize my own health by staying with him for 24 hours a day. Believe me, I shed tears over that-feeling so guilty....He did a lot of crazy things like ripping out his IVs and trying to get out but he had compassionate people there to help take care of him. I also became super protective. After seeing him fade away into exhaustion after a visitor arrived-I began to screen his visitors and tell people not to visit right now-he was too sick. If they wanted to see him-it had to be for a short while.

Slowly but surely as time passed, the medication and fluids assisted him, and the miracle of healing of our human bodies occurred-he began to be more coherent and gain strength. Our next hurdle was waiting to find out what kind of virus attacked him as it would determine the treatment-possible 3 weeks on IV anti-virals.

Monday morning arrived and the good news-no long-term IV therapy, good to go-take it easy and see your family doctor next week. Other than a new diagnosis of high blood pressure (gulp) he will make a full recovery-and continues to progress each day.

This could happen again-I hope not-I hope I have learned something (him too!) that we won't have to go through it again.

Lessons learned:
I can't do it all.

Something as simple as saying, "I'll pray for you," bringing in a meal, or a phone call lifts a tremendous burden. I felt the prayers, I felt my burden being carried by others and I will never forget it.

The power of prayer and priesthood blessings.

In my inner "core" I felt peaceful-even though I lost it a couple of times. I know that the spirit of the Lord was carrying me through.

Just the day before all this happened, I was reading Elder Bednar's talk from the last conference. A huge learning experience.

I came across a quote just yesterday that inspired me. I share it for others who may be experiencing trials...""No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifieds our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God. . . .and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven. . . "--Orson F. Whitney

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Deja vu

A week ago today, I awoke at 5:00 am to the sounds of TL throwing up again. He had been sick with the flu for over a week and I was concerned because he just wasn't getting any better. I walked into the family room, the early morning light just beginning to fill the room. He sat straight on the couch, staring straight ahead...I said, "Are you okay?" He didn't reply. I asked him again. He looked up at me with a blank look on his face. My heart stood still. The icy grip of terror gripped my soul and I thought...."oh no-not again...."

1997. Today was January 30th, our 22 wedding anniversary. A large glass vase with a dozen red roses graced our kitchen table. I knew that we wouldn't be doing much today, as TL was still in the throws of some kind of flu bug that held him captive for over a week. He didn't seem to be doing much better today. Concerned, I called our home teacher and asked him to come over to give him a blessing. The blessing was given, comfort assured, and I hurried off to begin my crazy day. We had 7 children, ages ranging from 3 1/2 to 19. Our oldest was getting married in six weeks and I had lots of things on my list, in addition to my booming medical transcription business. I had six ladies working for me with over 20 doctors dictating on a daily basis. I had to make my early morning run to the offices, come home and prepare the afternoon delivery, not to mention my own dictation to type. Needless to say, I was going 100 miles an hour from dawn to late after dusk. When I returned from my delivery, I checked on TL, then began to work. About 11 am I looked up when I heard a noise behind me. It was TL-standing proudly-looking kind of like a 2 year old who has accomplished something big-like putting his shoes on the wrong feet. He had gotten dressed. Only there was one problem......He was wearing my glasses. I knew at that moment that something was wrong. I gently guided him to the couch and began talking to him. His responses were slow and measured. He didn't seem to know what day it was. My heart stood still as I realized there was something seriously wrong. I called his doctor, the only one he had ever seen in 15 years. He seemed uninterested. "Just take him to urgent care," he said. When helping TL get ready to go, he couldn't figure out how to put his shoes on. I had a hard time getting him into the car. We went to the nearest urgent care where the preliminary diagnosis was a stroke. I knew it wasn't a stroke. I had enough medical knowledge to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke. We stayed there for a couple of hours, as I watched him slowly descend into madness. The decision was made to get him to the ER. The problem was, he wouldn't cooperate and he began to get aggressive. They called an ambulance and I tearfully followed them over. I had never felt so alone in my life. I couldn't get a hold of anyone on the phone. It took me several hours of trying before I felt the comforting arms of extended family around me. After days of viral-induced dementia-he began to slowly come out of it as his body and the medicine overcame the germs. Because he was so out of control, he had to be tied to his bed and a family member sat with him for 24 hours a day. We had to prevent him from getting up, ripping out IVs and trying to escape. He is a large, strong man, so my brother-in-law spent a lot of evenings with him. After crossing off each possible diagnosis after numerous tests, the final verdict was, viral meningitis. He fully recovered after six days in the hospital. I had never felt such terror in my life-wondering if my husband would come back to me.

May 14, 2008. I paced the floor, waiting for my neighbor, who is a paramedic and a worthy priesthood holder, to come back from his morning walk. As soon as I saw them turn the corner, I ran out and said, "I need help." He got his son and they returned quickly to check him out and give TL a blessing. The blessing was pronounced, the words were few, but I immediately knew what I had to do and I needed to do it fast......

Monday, May 19, 2008


We're home.........lovely, home sweet home.
All tests negative except a new diagnosis of high blood pressure.
I'll blog all the sordid details later.
I think I need some recovery time too.
It's going to take a few days to get that "hospital smell" out of my nose.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Projected temp here today: 100
Hospital temP: Considerably colder

As I contemplate my wardrobe today as I head off to the hospital-I am in conflict-outside-HOT. Inside-COLD. Why are hospitals so dang friggin' freezin???? I will meditate on that today.

TL update: Still very sick. Yesterday about 50% out of it as compared to the last two days of maybe 75% out of it-so that is an improvement. We still have a long haul ahead waiting for test results (virus type) and the verdict as to when he comes home-they're not making any promises yet. I agree-I don't want to take care of him at home yet.

Grateful for: Wonderful nurses-nurses are saints! Supportive family and friends. Wonderful ward members-wonderful people who I don't even know praying for us.....(I can feel it!) Priesthood blessings.

Learning: Patience & Faith

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Taking a blog break-TL is in the hospital. Diagnosis: Viral meningitis. Prognosis: Good-he is very, very sick but he will recover. Grateful for tender mercies today.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bee Grateful

"Take Heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers...." Acts 20:28

This is my Bishop.
He is a great Bishop.
When he heard about our bee problem, he suited up in his bee suit and was right over to rid our backyard of the "killer bees." (I am sure he would prefer to remain anonymous in his bee suit)

Bishop in action.
He said that this would be considered a "prime swarm" which consists of probably around 100,000 bees. They were busy, busy, busy. Look at just a small portion of what they produced in only a matter of about 48 hours! (the other side is covered with the waxy honeycomb too)
I can see why Brigham Young wanted the symbol of Utah to be the beehive-bees are extremely industrious!!

Sorry, I just had to throw that photo in-you know I like to visually illustrate my posts.

Coming tomorrow: "Visual Essay-Images from Tennessee-Life of a Mormon Missionary"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weekend in Photos

Would you let your daughter date this boy?Prom Night-May 10, 2008
P.S. He asked a sophomore girl first to the prom but she turned him down--the nerve!

Mother's Day Phone Call!!!

May 11, 2008

Elder Steve is the one on the right. He's doing great-he speaks Spanish like a pro-we got to talk for 1 hr. 45 min-the best news-he sent another photo card-yay!

The reason why we have Children:

The Grandchildren

May 11, 2008

Baby E.-Lil Bright eyes. She has suffered for nine months from plugged tear ducts and her eyes are finally healing.

The Secret Life of BeesI have learned more about bees this weekend than I really wanted. Don't know if you can see that odd shaped brownish thing in the trees-that is a swarm of bees settling down to make a nice home. They started swarming Sat. morning and I am terrified to go outside or let the grandkids go outside-90% of bees in AZ are africanized bees-"killer" bees which are very aggressive when defending their queen.....{gulp} The estimate of his group was 100,000 bees.......

Final thought..."The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!" Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

This is my favorite photo of my mom. It is her wedding portrait. Some interesting things about my mom:

She is pretty much a walking miracle. When she was a young adult, she contracted a terrible disease called scleroderma. Basically what happens with scleroderma is that all the soft tissues in the body slowly harden until they don't function anymore. But for some reason, she went into remission and though she has had some residual effects from it, she is still here with us! (she had to have me & my sisters!)

She has a Master's Degree in Chemistry with a minor in nutrition (she's smart)

She worked part-time when her kids were little to help supplement the family income and to keep her sanity with 3 kids 3 and under (I was a few days short of 3 when #3 was born-#2 was 10 1/2 months).

She has taught me to love my heritage.

She has taught me to be a lady.

She was always there for me. I remember coming home from school shouting, "Mommy!" She would answer, "What?" No reason-I just wanted to make sure she was there.

She taught me sewing skills, cooking skills, homekeeping skills. (I nagged her to death until she finally relented to allow me to learn to sew. I was in the 5th grade. I think I nagged for a few years prior)

She listened to me for endless hours on the phone when I was a young mother with all my struggles.

She always made a big fuss over TL when we visited (and still does)

Thanks for giving me life-my mother. I hope you have a lovely Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hey Family

Just for my family.....ACE is married. Can you believe it?

I'd Like To Introduce you to......

The newest alumni of Arizona State University
Bachelor of Applied Science
Magna Cum Laude
May 9, 2008

You are:

Friday, May 9, 2008

Through The Eyes of a Child

In honor of Mother's Day....I present.....In case you were wondering what I look like....portraits by my children:

Some little known facts about me...

(There seems to be a lot of desire for sleep going on)

And, in case you are really interested, here's my usual schedule for the day (about 12 yrs ago)

Did you know that I am an award winning cook? One of my famous recipes:FYI-You know mommies, how kids bring home so much stuff from school-well, I just saved the best and I decided recently to scan it and toss it (gasp!) and print it on nice white paper (not cardstock) so I can remember those precious things they did without all the bulk and storage. Believe me---7 kids bring home a lot of stuff through the 7-8 years of preschool and elementary school