Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary on the 27th! What a ride!
We attended the temple and did some sealings. It was nice to look at Adam across the alter and to hear the promised blessings in the sealing ordinances again. We have been very blessed .

Excuse Me While I Gag

Last night Adam and I loaded the kids in the car and headed downtown to see the annual tree lighting. On the way there, I looked back at the kids only to see James pick his nose and eat it.
"James, please don't pick your nose and eat it. It's so gross and disgusting."
"No, I'm a squirrel."
"Squirrels don't eat their boogers."
"I'm a squirrel pretending to eat acorns."
I wanted to laugh and puke at the same time. So gross!

By the way, all of my posts have been 'naked' lately as my USB cable is on the fritz and I'm too lazy and poor to buy a new one.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I won't lie and say that 2009 was the best year ever. In fact, in a lot of ways, it kind of sucked. It kind of sucked a lot. I don't say that to be a whiner or a complainer--I know things can always be worse. But let's face it, some days are better than others and so are some years better than others. Adam has been unemployed for a full year now. In retrospect, as I think about the past year and the challenges we have faced financially, I can see huge blessings that were a direct result of him not being employed. Some of those blessings are as follows:

Adam was able to focus almost solely on school. Because of that, he was able to take more classes and will now graduate slightly earlier than expected.

When Ruby was in the hospital, Adam was able to take care of James most of the time and he was able to come and relieve me at the hospital.

We learned to rely on the Lord for nearly everything. It is a miracle to us that somehow we have managed to pay all of our bills every single month without going into debt or having to borrow money from our parents. We also never had to apply for food stamps or other assistance (other than medical) which we are grateful for. I'm very thankful to know that assistance is there if it came down to it but fortunately we were able to get by without it.

We have learned to go without even if it was something that we really needed at the time. Is it an absolute necessity or can it be put off for a few more months? I'm thankful that (hopefully) I've learned the value of money.

We have learned from some mistakes. A few years ago, we bought a car that we immediately regretted purchasing. We have prayed and prayed that we would be able to sell it but we haven't. I know the Lord understands that we have learned our lesson but that doesn't mean He's going to instantly make the problem go away. He's definitely helped us make the payments but it would have been easier if we could have sold the car or, even better, never purchased it to begin with.

The blessings of tithing are real. I'm so thankful for this divine commandment. The Lord gives us so much more in return. We are indebted to him for all that we have and all that we are. He wants to bless us and He wants us to be happy.


The other night, James was flipping through his "Jesus book" (aka: the nursery manual) and he came across the picture illustrating the story of the good Samaritan. He asked me what happened to the man. I told him that some bad people came and beat him up and left him on the ground and this nice man came along and helped him.
James: How did he help him?
Me: He gave him some water and took him to the hospital.
James: How did he take him to the hospital?
Me: On his donkey.
At this point he starts laughing hysterically and shaking his head. He finally held his hand up and while still laughing said, "I guess I just don't understand."
Me: What don't you understand.
James: (Still laughing hysterically and keep in mind he is only 3) A donkey can't hold two men it can only hold one man. And then he laughed and laughed like it was the funniest thing he had ever heard.

After Adam got home that night, I was telling him about it and I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. I love that kid. He is so stinkin' smart and cute.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I admit there were times during the last few weeks when I felt pretty sorry for myself, for Ruby, for our family in general. For Ruby's third surgery, we went to St. Luke's instead of St. Al's. I met an 8 year old girl that was battling cancer. I saw her in the playroom a lot, hooked up to oxygen, her pale bald head bent over her art work or games. I wanted to cry every time I saw her. I no longer felt sorry for myself. My Ruby was fixable-- she would be able to leave eventually. This girl, Raegen, had been in the hospital for 27 days straight and was staying another week for chemo treatments. I can't imagine facing something like that as a parent. I had a small taste of what it's like to see my child suffering, feeling helpless and confused, the endless hours of monotony at the hospital. That was nothing compared to what Raegen and her family have experienced. We may be dirt poor, we may be frustrated with our job situation, we may feel like our situation is never going to change, but at least we are healthy and our children are healthy and for that I am very grateful.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weeks in Review

The last few weeks have been a little crazy, to say the least. The week leading up to our trip to Bermuda, I noticed a large lump on Ruby's neck. I took her to the doctor that same day and he thought it was an infected lymph node and prescribed antibiotics. At the end of the week, she had a follow-up appointment (doc knew we were going to Bermuda) and the lump had gotten significantly larger. He called SW Idaho Ear, Nose and Throat and we went immediately to that clinic for an ENT to look at her. The ENT was fairly certain it was a large pus pocket that would need to be drained surgically and a CT scan would confirm his diagnosis. We went immediately to the hospital. It took two or three tries before they were finally able to get an IV in her tiny vein. They strapped her down so she couldn't move at all while they did the scan. She screamed the entire time and I thought it would never end.
We waited at the hospital for the results so she could go directly in to surgery without having to do another IV. The doctor finally called and confirmed that it was a pus pocket and they were preparing for surgery right away.
I was so disappointed and upset. I was worried about Ruby and I was mad about our trip. Why did this have to happen now? It was 4:00pm and we were supposed to be on a flight at 7:45 in the morning. Adam's parents met us at the hospital and we started talking about our trip. To me, going was not really an option anymore. I couldn't get a hold of anyone at EF to see if we could fly out a day later but I couldn't reach anyone. The doctor had told us several times that it would be alright if we went, that this procedure was not exactly routine but that he had seen it enough times to know that she would only be in the hospital for 1-2 nights. Adam still wanted to go. Adam's parents still wanted us to go, saying that they would take care of Ruby and everything would be alright. I was not so sure. Adam went home to pack and I stayed and waited for her to wake up from surgery.
I was up all night with Ruby. I literally had not slept all night. Adam's parents came to the hospital at 5am--one was staying with Ruby and one was taking me home to get my luggage. It was so hard leaving Ruby, curled up on the big hospital bed, burning up with fever. I tried not to cry. I didn't want to disappoint Adam. He wanted to go so bad. I was in such a daze from lack of sleep. It all seems like a dream then and now looking back. Somehow I went home, packed up the car and we got on the plane. I cried practically the entire flight to Salt Lake.
Once we got to Salt Lake, it didn't seem as bad and I was actually getting excited about spending the evening in Boston. Plus, Ruby was going home in the morning so it started to feel ok.
We arrived in Boston and spent the night there and then left for Bermuda the next morning. We didn't have cell phone coverage in Bermuda because it's another country and calling from the hotel was ridiculously expensive. Finally, we were able to call that evening fully expecting to hear that Ruby had been released and was doing well at my mom's house. Well, my mom said she hadn't been released but would probably go home in the morning. My mom calls the next night, Ruby didn't go home again today, her fever isn't going down and the doctor is thinking about doing another CT scan because she might need another surgery. Adam and I talked about it and decided that we really needed to go home. We were able to get a flight out the next day at noon.

We arrive in Boise at midnight and go straight to the hospital. The next day, another CT scan is done which revealed that the original pocket had filled back up with pus plus there were two more pockets that needed to be drained: both sides of her neck and the back of her throat.
Another surgery. Ruby seems to be doing better right off the bat but her fever is still present. After 10 days in the hospital, the doctor says we can go home. Our first night home, Ruby slept all through the night, she seemed happy, etc. The next day, things were great until her fever hit in the afternoon and she was up all night with a fever and she threw up.
Took her to the doctor in the morning and he said her lump was the same and call if there are any changes. Went home, put Ruby down for a nap. When she woke up, the whole side of her face was swollen. Call doc immediately. Sends us to hospital right away for yet another CT scan which showed that she needed a third surgery to drain it. Adam and I had to hold her down for nearly a FULL HOUR while the nurses tried to get an IV in. It was so sad. I wanted to leave but I knew I had to stay and give her what little comfort I could. It was so painful for her. She screamed and thrashed through the whole ordeal. Finally, a nurse from PICU came and put one in her head which was very sad. Poor little Ruby. She just cried and cried while they held her head down and put a needle in her scalp. I was a mess. I wanted to scream at the nurses, "What kind of a children's hospital is this that you can't even get an IV in a child?!" My stress level was at an all time high. I just wanted Ruby's torture to end. I just wanted her to get better.
This time a specialist of pediatrics, infectious diseases was brought on board. So, we spent another 5 days in the hospital. She was released just yesterday (Saturday) morning. So far, so good.

Bermuda was awesome, by the way.