Sunday, September 25, 2016

Fall is here

I love this time of year. The temperatures are cooling down, the leaves are changing colors, and making crockpot soups are on the menu. When I first wrote, "Fall is here," I had to laugh because I fell down four weeks ago and it's still affecting me. 

My knee is beginning to bend more easily. I am a bit unstable when walking, due to my muscles compensating for my knee. I feel like my knee is mending and that is encouraging. I have my physical therapy evaluation this week, at last! I hope they have good news for me. 

I love wearing yellow. Especially mustard yellow. 

Tyler purchased this lovely toilet seat riser to help my knee out. The fact that I have to have one of these while I am in my 30s is a but embarrassing, but I will admit it is nice and much easier on my knee. 

We are having a repeat of last year in that Calvin is hiding his school lunches instead of eating them. He has hidden them underneath the deck of a neighbor's house, two doors down, and he has hidden them underneath Anna's bed. We are trying to do what we can to figure out why he doesn't want to eat. His GI specialist wants to scope him and see if something isn't right. 

This pup doesn't mind snuggling me while I elevate my poor knee. I love my Maggie Moo. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The road to recovery

My knee is still recovering from my fall. It has been three weeks since I fell, and I have another 3 weeks until my knee should be more functional. I wish that I could say that it has improved at lot, but it's still quite tender. I am elevating it like the doctor told me to do. I have an appointment for physical therapy at the end of this month. I spend most of the days in my recliner. I read scriptures, browse Pinterest, help Anna with homeschooling classes, and try to not feel guilty for all of the appointments that I am rescheduling. We recently got a laptop to help with Anna's homeschooling and I plan to try my hand at doing some family history work. 

I have been very blessed to have received such daily love and service from my sweet husband, Tyler. He is so good to me. My children are also very helpful. Friends from church have helped in substituting for my piano calling at church and others have run errands for me. Tyler has picked up the weekly grocery runs and hasn't complained one time. I am beginning to see this recovery as a gift to me. It has caused me to slow down and focus on what is most important. And for that, I am grateful. 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to school

The kids started back to school this week! They are all very excited about their new teachers. I am excited to have a set schedule again! For FHE, we had priesthood blessings to begin a new year. I am so thankful to have the priesthood in our home. 

Anna is beginning 9th grade - my baby is in high school. How did that happen? She is homeschooled again this year and will be learning through the BYU high school online program. She is taking three classes this fall (French 1, English, and Algebra 1) and then will take three more classes in the spring. Anna also began seminary and has adjusted to the early morning schedule with ease. 

Keith is in 6th grade this year - that's right, he's now in middle school! He's growing up! Keith is most excited about riding the bus again. He loves going to school and seems to be enjoying it thus far. Keith is in an L2 class.

Iryna is also in 6th grade. She's in an L1 class and attends the same middle school as Keith. It's so nice to have them both in the same school! Iryna is still quite nervous about going to school. Her teacher called me and said that she wants to work with Iryna on her head bobbing habit. She has been bobbing her head like that for some time. We shall see how it goes!

Calvin is now in 3rd grade. I have no doubt that his earned title of "model student" from his teacher last year will continue into this year. Calvin loves to work hard at school. He says he is enjoying the library visits the most right now. 

Silas is emotional when it comes to school and he flips from loving it to dreading it, sometimes within a five minute period. He is learning to read in 1st grade and seems to like his teacher. He has some fellow classmates that he knows from last year. Apparently, his teacher moved up with her kindergarten class from last year - Silas wasn't in her class last year. Some of the kids moved away and she specifically asked to teach Silas in 1st grade. She has her work cut out for her! Ha ha. Silas is a dear boy and has so many wonderful qualities, but he's quite a handful. I hope he enjoys 1st grade.

This has been me the last week. I went in for my MRI results for my knee and had both good and bad news. The good news is that there are no fractures and no tears = no surgery! The bad news is that I have three bad bruises and it will take up to a month for them to heal. The doctor put in a referral for me to attend physical therapy. I have an appointment, but it's not until the very end of September. :( I am trying to relax and keep my leg elevated as much as possible. I'm going on two weeks of being down for the count. My sweet family has been so kind and Tyler has been very attentive. On Friday, I was watching a talk by Sheri Dew and I remembered something that my good friend, Valerie, has taught me. She said that during a recent trial, she was praying about it. The spirit told her that her trial was a gift from God to help her learn and grow. During the talk, I remembered this idea and I have been trying to view this trial as a gift. I can think of some reasons why it is a gift. When Tyler was deployed, I was stressed and I had to handle everything. It was hard and stressful, but I did it. As the time went by that he was gone, the stress began to mount. When he returned from the Middle East, I thought that all of my stress would melt away...but it didn't. I couldn't understand why I still felt so overwhelmed. I felt like I had to handle everything, even though I knew that Tyler was here to help - and he kept reminding me that he wanted to help. Now that I am having to sit with my leg up for most of the day, I have to be reliant upon my family and friends to help me. Even though I want to be up and doing things, it's also nice to slow down. I think this IS a gift for me, to help me ponder and reflect more upon what is important. I am feeling very blessed and I am thankful for God's plan for me.

Here is one of the many ways that my sweet husband blesses me. We converted the office downstairs into our master bedroom. This way, I don't have to climb any stairs. It has been so nice to sleep in a bed after a week of sleeping on the couch and in the recliner. Tyler is so good to me. <3

Tyler and Anna and I like to play the iPad version of Settlers of Catan. It's much easier and can be played from the convenience of my recliner. 

Barkley is such a big sweetheart. He snuggles up to me and lets me love on him. He's become a member of the family and everyone loves him so much. 

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Philadelphia Temple Open House

Over the weekend, while we were in Pennsylvania for my Aunt Rhoda's funeral, it was during the Philadelphia Temple's Open House! So we drove there on our way home and went on a tour. My knee was in a lot of pain, as I had been walking much more than usual during our trip. I was thankful that they had wheelchairs available, so that I could still go on the tour! We had a lovely time. It is a stunningly beautiful temple!

Waiting for our tour to begin. 

Sitting outside the temple. 

I so love this man!

We love being at the temple!

Anna and I waiting for Daddy to pull the ban up to get us. Anna was wearing her super high heels and almost fell twice!

If you are near Pennsylvania, I recommend attending this open house. I believe the last day to attend is September 9th. It isn't open on Sundays. The tours are free! Here is a website with more information:

Aunt Rhoda's Funeral

My knee has begun to bruise quite a bit over the past week. I was able to get an MRI on Friday and I should get those results this coming week. I am praying that it won't be anything serious. 

I didn't realize it is bruising on the sides and back of my knee, also, until Tyler pointed it out. 

Despite being on Motrin, it is still painful a week after my fall. My family has been so kind and considerate and sympathetic to me. I am very blessed!

My great Aunt Rhoda was a kind soul who lived in Pennsylvania all of her life. She died a few months ago and was cremated. My grandpa, Uncle Kurt, and my mom drove out from Oklahoma on Friday and we drove up to Pennsylvania to meet them for the funeral. 

Uncle Kurt spoke about my Aunt Rhoda and read a poem that my dad, Bob, wrote about her. My Grandma always said that her sister, Rhoda, was not right bright. She had some mental challenges, but her mother taught her how to clean and she was really good at it. She loved to clean cars and when she worked at McDonald's, she kept that restaurant super clean. 

I remember Aunt Rhoda. She came to visit my grandparents in Oklahoma one year when I was in high school. She brought lots of happy meal toys for my siblings and me. She was nice and pleasant to be around. My grandmother would send her a letter every single month without fail. She was very devoted to her older sister.

Part of the funeral was music and it was such a pleasure to sing in four part harmony with my grandpa, Uncle Kurt, and my mom. We sang "In the garden," "Nearer My God To Thee," "The Doxology," and "God Be With You till We Meet Again." I felt the Holy Spirit many times throughout the funeral. Only one other person attended Rhoda's funeral, a cousin of hers that none of us had ever met. 

We were small in numbers, but mighty in heart. I love my family - I am so thankful for all of them. Isn't my walker super stylish? Ha ha. 

My grandpa is in his 90s. I admire his tenacity and desire to come all the way from Oklahoma to honor his sister-in-law at her funeral. He spoke very highly of Rhoda and of her whole family. My Grandpa married Martha, one of four children (3 daughters and 1 son). Martha was the only daughter to get married and the only child of Charles and Helen to have children. My grandpa said that they made regular trips to Pennsylvania to see Martha's family. My mom has said that her granny was a wonderful person, who loved to see her grandkids. I am so thankful to be a part of a family who focuses on strong familial ties. There is a lot of love here. 

The funeral quartet!

My mom with my kids. They were SO thrilled to see her again! When did Anna grow taller than my mom?!

My family. I love them so much! Anna is almost as tall as I am! Of course, she's wearing super high heels and I'm wearing flats. Ha ha. 

This is my great grandpa and great grandma. I am thankful for their heritage and the legacy they left behind. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Knee injury

Yesterday I was making lunch and as I walked to throw something away in the trashcan, I slipped on a bag and face planted onto the kitchen floor! My right knee bore the brunt of the fall and it instantly was hurting and swelling up. Before I even got off of the floor, Tyler gave me some water and Motrin. After some ingenious intuition, I was able to get up off the floor and put myself on the couch with my knee elevated. My sweet family surrounded me and they were so kind and thoughtful. I had an ice pack on my knee within minutes and had several hugs from my kids. 

After three hours of icing, my knee was still hurting and quite swollen. Tyler took me in to the ER and they did some X-rays. Nothing is broken, but they saw some fluid. They recommended an MRI on Monday. They set me up with an ace bandage, a super fly walker, and some painkillers. I'm not going to lie - this is the most painful injury that I have ever sustained. I am so grateful to my family for taking such great care of me. 

Because my house has three levels, I bunked out on the couch last night. Today was spent resting, icing, and sleeping. My knee is still quite puffy and it's hard to get around. This morning Matt and Tyler gave me a priesthood blessing. The words spoke peace to my soul. I am so thankful for the priesthood. 

Now I am going through my schedule and trying to figure out what I can cancel and reschedule as I look at this upcoming week. Part of me is frustrated that I cannot do what I am used to doing. But another part of me is thankful that I have no choice BUT to rest and slow down. With so many appointments for my children, I am often on the go and I am frequently tired from all of my running this will be good for me, even if it's uncomfortable and painful. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Myrtle Beach

Something we promised the kids before Tyler deployed was a trip to the beach after he returned! We spent last week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it was glorious, indeed! We stayed at a condo right on the beach. It has an indoor and an outdoor pool available, also. We had a nice time frolicking on the beach, watching the Olympics, and playing games together. The sunrises were simply gorgeous. I absolutely love sitting by the ocean and listening to the waves rolling in. 

Silas was plum tuckered out from swimming in the ocean and then the pool. 

Calvin turned this scenic view into whimsy. 

Keith loved flying kites by the ocean. 

This is Tyler's sting from a jellyfish. Calvin and Silas were also stung. We witnessed two other nearby children that received jellyfish stings. The pain goes away quickly, at least. 

We played lots of dominos!

One day a storm rolled in! It was majestic! Every other day had perfect weather. 

I frequently found the kids on the balcony, just watching the ocean. I am convinced that it provided some good therapy for my kids - and for me!

The last sunrise of the trip. It was hard to say goodbye to the ocean, but we had a wonderful time and hope to see the ocean again one day soon. 

We discovered this brand/type of chips while on our trip. Tyler and I may be kind-of addicted. #youhavebeenwarned