What Happened the Last Several Months?

The answer is that I'm not really sure.  We've been busy doing something, but I have failed to document it and so I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed with all the catching up I'd like to do.  So I think a summary will suffice for now.

In the order I thought of it.

During fall break in early October, I took my boys down to St. George.  We spent time with my mom before she started chemo.  It was a very fun weekend.  I think we all just had a bit more gratitude in our hearts and didn't take one moment for granted.  I helped my mom read about her treatments and tried to get her geared up.  It was an emotional time.  Her cancer hadn't spread through the tissue or lymph nodes, but she happened to have the dreaded HER2 type.  This is an aggressive type that used to be a death sentence.  Thankfully now there is a relatively new drug that targets it quite well.  For this I'm so grateful - what a gift scientists gave when developing the drug Herceptin!  Even though there are no signs of cancer in her body, the protocol is to do 6 rounds of chemo.  This was hard to swallow.  We had hoped to avoid chemo and it's hard to put yourself through something like that when it seems like only a precaution.  Well after much talking, praying and study, Mom decided to follow the doctors orders and got her first dose of chemo the three days after we left.  It was scary, but an act of faith.

The day after she started chemo, I went with Glenn, his co-worker Mike and Mike's wife to Paris.  It was the first time I have left all of my kids for this long, even though it really wasn't that long.  We had such a great time.  Mike and Karen knew Paris really well and were great travel buddies.  Pictures and stories to come.

Another highlight was that Porter's football team, that Glenn coached, won the Superbowl.  The boys were so proud of themselves.

Then shortly after that, my phone started having problems and my computer too.  I was pretty unconnected to the world.  It was kind of nice.

Warrick tried basketball for the first time.  Glenn was the assistant coach and it turns out that Warrick really enjoyed playing.  They don't keep score, but the boys sit on the side lines and count points and even differentiate between 2 and 3 point shots. Both coaches couldn't make it to the final game so both wives took over.  Fiasco is a strong word, but lets just say we didn't know what we were doing.

My nephew, Eric, got engaged.  It's fun to have him close by and to watch things progress.

My mom started on her second chemo round.  The first one was rough, but the second one seemed to go much better.  It is hard to know exactly what is going on when I'm not there to see it.  That's hard. She will have her third round the day before Thanksgiving.

Warrick was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I no longer work with the Young Women of our ward.  I now work with Activity Days girls ages 8-11. I miss the older girls, but I'm excited to play with the younger ones.  I teach the girls that are Porter and Warrick's ages.  I feel like a fly on the wall as I get to know the girls that I've heard about.

I don't know what prompted it, but the boys draped a blanket over the basement entrance at the bottom of our stairs and made a door out of couch cushions at the top of the stairs.  As I saw these preparation I reminded them that duct tape can't be used on walls - hard lesson learned.  They instead enlisted the help of the multi-functional bungee cord.  After they got the infrastructure, they started one by one coming upstairs and heading back down with their arms full of supplies like blankets, pillows, chairs and toys.  Soon they announced that they had created a Man Cave.  The cat and I were not allowed down.  Because we are girls.  This was hard for the cat to accept.  She kept trying to sneak down.  They found a way to cat proof it.  I on the other hand have enjoyed it.  Since they don't want me down there, they are more than willing to run down there and get me anything I might need from the storage room.

This is the door to the "Man Cave".

We went as a family to a BYU Jazz for Kids Concert.  It was fun and it seemed to impress the kids since shortly after they created a jazz station on Pandora that they decided to play in the Man Cave anytime they were down there.  The problem with this is that the station that they found plays only soft jazz.  Think Kenny G.  It is slightly painful, but I'm glad they are expanding their horizons.

Quite often they disappear downstairs.  I have not been down there in over a week.  I hear meetings called to order, I hear the saxophone scales of Kenny G (or the like) and I hear reminders that I'm not allowed.  It is bonding for them, I suppose.

Another transformation that happened while I was away from this blog is that I finally appreciate Halloween.  For the longest time I had a hard time spending money on a costume that would be worn for one night.  (Even though they do get worn throughout the year at times.)  And then it just seemed like a pointless holiday with no purpose but to fill all the kids with junk.  But something happened on this Halloween day.  It started with the bus driver...
I guess I just appreciated the effort people went to for no real reason.  Well, I guess there is a reason - simply for fun. I appreciated the parents and teachers who took the time to dress up - just for fun.  And so I sat back and enjoyed walking around with my kids to collect candy and while it seemed a bit frivolous, I enjoyed it all.  And I appreciated the creativity I saw.  So much creativity and effort! (While I appreciate the effort they give, I don't conform to it - at least not yet.  My new rule is that you can be anything as long as it's easy.) And I appreciated seeing my neighbor riding his horse while he was dressed as the headless horseman.  Stafford couldn't get his mind around the fact that the guy riding the horse didn't have a head.  There is something about hearing horse hooves coming toward you in the dark of night that make the night perfectly fun.

The bus stop. 

Stafford added his own widows peak by shaping his hair in a spike on his forehead.

Christian, Porter and Seth R.

It's now been several more weeks since I wrote the above post.  I now have my own computer instead of borrowing Glenn's while he is at work.  This will help, I think, with the continued documentation of our lives.  I feel badly that there are some cool pictures that were missed like the wall of snow the kids at the bus stop erected in the middle of the road so the bus would run over it or the mini pillow case that Christian sewed on his own.  (He learned in Home Ec. how to thread a sewing machine, went downstairs, found my sewing machine deep in the storage room, set it up in his room and when I went to check on him at bed time, he was sewing and turned to me with delight and said, "I made a pocket!")

Thanksgiving was a beautiful day with Glenn's parents and our niece Madison, from BYU.

The snow has hit and I have parked my van and moved into the truck after only  making it half way up the road in my van before having to abandon it for the day.  It stayed at the side of the road until our truck could tow it out.  Have I ever mentioned that I'm a truck person?  Love it!  Another addition that is making the winter more bearable is that we have a snow blower.  I smile every time I use it or get into the truck and easily drive up our hill.  Life is good.


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