Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We miss Emmy

We miss Emmy :'-(  Poor Emmy has a cold and she can't come and play. Yesterday morning the Nelson ladies got up and played in the basement.  That room down there is perfect for kids to play in with all the toys and Kiera and Lydia are taking advantage of it.  They use the coffee table in the middle to set up their kitchen on and play with the princesses on.  For lunch we went to the new McDonalds and played in the play area. It's a great play area for older kids but for this age, I think I like the play area in Arctic Circle a little better.  After naps we went up again to the Dastrup house for a good dinner of Talapia, roasted green tomatoes (they were NUMMY!) and roasted Zuchini (which was also pretty good).  Since the high temp yesterday only got to about 65 degrees at our house, Marilyn and Cambrie and Kiera and Lydia decided to make Pumpkin Pie.  Wowza!  We had it for dessert after dinner at the Dastrups.  Poor little Jacob was having a hard time breathing. They had to bring him home early from Bear Lake and take him to the doctor.  The doctor gave them some pills they tried to hide in a peanut butter sandwich and later in some birthday cake, but you can't fool Mr. Jacob!  He tasted it right off and spit it out and gagged.  Hope the little guy's asthma gets better soon.  Anyway..it was a great day off for Gramps.  Lots of fun and family.  I just wish that Emmy could join the ruckus.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Why should YOU do Facebook?

I heard this on KSL this morning and it makes perfect sense.  As parents, you want to keep up with new social media technology BECAUSE some day your kids will be online and you want to make sure you are one of their social media "friends".  If you don't keep up with technology, your kids will run circles around you (and without you) and that leaves them very vulnerable and you very clueless.  Just when you think you've read the book that covers everything about parenting, kids come up with a new way to thwart you.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Newer post

Mom is Walking. Alone. She will not be staying here or she will be a flight risk. So, I think we better think it out again! Mom and Dad went to Sacrament meeting, and when they came back to her room, she was walking. It seems our meeting to get organized was wasted effort.

Update from Orem Rehab on mom

I thought that you may want a positive update on Mom. This is something that Kathy wrote to Micheal on his mission, but I was going to update here today, but this covers it so here ya go!

What a week. Let me just say that it is much better than last week was. My mother is in a specialized nursing rehab center now after being in the hospital for a week. Getting her there was rather a nightmare and we were beginning to think that she would be kicked out as soon as she got there. At the hospital she clobbered a nurse who was helping me get her to the toilet for the first time. The next day when the people came to transfer her from the hospital to the nursing facility, a man asked her to put her arms around his neck so that he could lift her. She reached back and pulled his hair and then punched him in the face.

Last night she returned to normal--thank heavens! Yesterday my siblings got together to outline shifts so that someone to be with Mom at all waking hours. (We have all been with her for a week so we decided to "dive and conquer.) I was with Mom last night. As soon as I got there, they brought her dinner in. She was immediately concerned that the nurse hadn’t been thanked properly. I went out in the hall and thanked her. Mom was still concerned and asked that I be a hostess for her since she isn’t as mobile. Finally, I got her in a wheelchair and took her out so that she could thank the nurse for her kindness. After Mom hugged and thanked the nurse I decided to take her on a walk-about. We got to the end of the hall and Mom saw a lady staring out into the hallway. Mom said “hi” as we passed but then wanted me to go back. We went into Jerry’s room to visit. Mom kept wanting me to go downstairs to get Jerry some bottled peaches etc. (Everyone who knows Mom knows how she likes to feed people.) After about an hour, I saw another lady inching forward with her feet in her wheelchair. She stopped short of the door. I asked Jerry if I could invite her into her room as well and then went to get her. When I asked Thella if she wanted to join us she relied that, “she wasn’t wanted”. It was a really sad statement. I brought her in to Jerry’s room too. Mom kept wanting to feed the other ladies. I went running to the kitchen to get them food at Mom’s insistence—that they didn’t want—but it was cute to see Mom be herself again. On one of my errands, I asked the nurse if Jerry also had Alzheimer’s. The nurses said that I happened to have all 3 Alzheimer’s patients together. Anyway, they had a great time for 3 hours. Jerry told Mom us that she had been lonely so Mom rather saved the day on that one. Hurray for getting my Mother back! Keep up the prayers.

Dad is with mom at (this is Marilyn again) at church right now. They will be back soon. Mom is oblivious to the fact that she is in a care center. Yesterday we were sitting here and Garth said to mom, "Gee, mom, that is a really nice chair you have there. Where did you get it?" Mom looked at the chair and said, "Yes, it is nice! Where DID I GET IT?" She also mentioned that she was never going to go to any nursing homes/care centers. Thank goodness she doesn't know that she is IN one!I guess we can thank the Alzheimers for that!

Yesterday me and my siblings met and divided up shifts with her. We want someone to be with her all day everyday because she doesn't remember that she has limited abilities, so she will try to do things (like get up and go for a walk) without us and if she does it, she will likely break her hip on these hard floors, and then that may just make things worse. So we will have someone here from 8 am to 8pm every day. Makes my life busier, but "all these experiences shall be for thy good". I am supposed to learn a valuable lesson from this. So I hope I catch on fast! :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

And a video of the playhouse

(Watch at 480P)

A day with the Nelson Girls

Today was a rainy day this morning.  We played a lot of playhouse and jumped on the trampoline.   We went for a stroller ride to the park and swang and played on the slides for a little while.  Grandma made some NUMMY bread for us to eat!  During naptime, the big people played games (Brett & Katie came over again to play).  Grandma fixed us all some good dinner and tonight we're going to go see Toy Story 3!  Oh boy!  There are currently some big dump trucks and machines putting new pavement on the road in front of our house.  Uncle Brett calls it "Fiscal irresponsibility".  Kiera and Lydia liked to sneak up on Aunt Katie and Uncle Brett sleeping in the bean bag chair and count and yell (1,2,3) "SURPRISE!".  Lydia got tired of waiting once so just snuck up on them and yelled "Three!"   We sure wish Emmy were here to play with.  And Buff.  And Dastrups.

Happy Birthday Lydia! 2 Years Old

Guess what?  I was so busy playing with you on your birthday that I never got around to posting this on the blog yesterday.  I'm SO GLAD you came to visit my house!  You were so tired of traveling and sitting on Thursday when you got here it just didn't seem fair to make you sit in a car seat for another 40 minute ride to Gramps & Grandma's house.  You didn't like it but you made it.  However, we tortured you again by making you sit in the car for yet another 35 minutes while we drove you up to Jacob's birthday party.  But that's when the fun began....you had cousins to play with and your mom decided you and Kiera and she would spend the night at Jacob's house.

Friday was your birthday and Gramps came up to pick you up and take you back to our house.....yet ANOTHER car ride strapped into a seat..it just wasn't fair!  Well when we got home we started celebrating your birthday!  We played in the playhouse and jumped on the trampoline and played with the toys in the basement.  What fun!  (Except when you fell under the trampoline, hit your head on the bricks, and got a little bloody) Aunt Katie and Uncle Brett came over and they played with us too.  Grandma had marinated some good steaks and we threw them on the BBQ.  Mmmmm....good birthday dinner.  Cambrie made a birthday cake and she turned it into Trifle and we put two candles on it...we sang Happy Birthday while you boogied and then you blew out the two candles all by yourself on the first blow! Mmmm...the trifle was delicious.  You thought the world was coming to an end when your mom took off your clothes to put your jammies on and you wanted to be 'toodie'.  I've never seen a kid fight putting jammies on so much.  That was pretty much your birthday.  Emmy couldn't come play because she and her parents are sick.  Too bad.  It's now the morning after your birthday and you are still sound asleep and I can't wait until you wake up and give me a hug and kiss and we can play again!  

Thursday, August 26, 2010


It's hard to believe my little special guy is FIVE YEARS OLD!  I vividly remember the phone call from Marilyn the day you were born and the concern she had for both you and Christa.  I remember the first weeks/months of your life how worried I was about you.  Now I realize every time I think of you I get a big smile on my face.   Your facination with electronics and how you'll push, pull, dig, chew, pull apart any electronic item you find just makes me laugh.  It can get expensive at times, but that's my (our) fault, not yours.  I giggle when you turn the TV over on its side to watch it.  You know exactly where the eject and rewind buttons are on the VCR.  If you find a DVD you have to shove it into the VCR to see if it will play.  You jump up and down and clap when you find something you like.  I love your crazy man face!  I couldn't love you any more if my life depended on it....you bring joy to my life even though you're a little cute bundle of trouble for your mom/dad (and sometimes grandma and me).  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Update on mom -Big improvement!

Today, with some assistance, mom was able to walk to the bathroom. Mostly, she did it alone though. And she is eating, drinking, talking and surprising us with her rapid comeback.
It has been crazy trying to get her into a care center...first they didn't think she was high functioning enough to go into intermediate care and then they decided that she was a "flight risk" (while she couldn't even take a step). Then they thought she should be on hospice, but then we found out that she couldn't recieve physical therapy if she was on hospice, but the care center couldn't have her come in because the Dr's reports were really not good while she was crashed with the overdoses of Aettiban she had been on. So it has gone back and forth several times.
They were going to release her yesterday, and then today. Now it will be tomorrow. But don't quote me on it! Ya just never know when it will pan out.
We will be placing her in Orem nursing and Rehab care. It is on 14th south, south of University Mall. When Norma was there, it was way ugly...a dark and gloomy dump with old folks in wheelchairs randomly strewn in the hallways all over the place. Nothing impressed us there. But they have put 2 million bucks into the place in the last 2 years, and the place is transformed! What a difference!
She will be getting rehab, and with her being able to do things like walk to the bathroom with assistance now, I am CERTAIN that she will be able to get well and functional enough to go home.
We are currently going through the reams of paperwork needed to get both mom and dad when the time becomes necessary) to get VA benefits. It will save $2,000.00 per month if we succeed. And so we do the paper work now...for whenever it will become needed. There is a 4-6 mo waiting list to get there anyway.

So that is about it. Mom isn't gonna love us for dropping her off where she doesn't want to be. We will have to have some scheduled support to be with her for the first week or so, so she doesn't feel abandoned there. I have been suprised that she hasn't been too insistant on getting out of here since she became more alive. She seems nearly like she is unaware of our conversations around her, even though they involve her care in a care center. Great! We will take it! I am glad she isn't fighting and cursing us!

I miss them already!!! [cry]

[sob] I miss Katie and Brett. [sniff]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Blogging to calm down

I don't really have the time to blog right now, but I'm going to nevertheless in order to try to release some tension and calm down.

As I was telling Steve tonight at dinner, with my most recent change in meds my mood has gone from extreme grumpiness to an I-can't-take-it-anymore type of very emotional mood. I'm sure that it doesn't help that I'm trying to pack for a 2 week trip by tomorrow. Packing is complicated with very expensive meds that require refrigeration that I'm stressing if I should put in checked luggage or carry-ons. I'm stressed over flights for both Steve and myself that absolutely must be on-time or it will cause me to miss appointment that are crucial to this surrogacy. I could go on, but I'll get on with my story.

So after taking Steve to the airport I drove my 2 sleeping girls home and carried them in to their beds. Then I went back out to my car and loaded up my arms with the dolls, bears, and sippy cups that accumulate in our back seat of our car. I carried them in and dumped them on the floor. As it hit the floor a very very large black-widow spider dashed from amongst the dolls towards our couch. I summoned every drop of courage within me and smashed it before it could escape. It was large enough I felt it pop. I've never had such a severe case of the heebie-jeebies before. I called Steve and succeeded in not crying and talked to him for about 10 minutes twice. He told me I needed to vacuum the car. So, although I certainly did not have the time, I did. Although it was 103 degrees out there as I did it I had chills and goosebumps. I honestly almost called my hometeacher to have them do it for me because I didn't feel like I could handle it.
Since then I've been too upset to do anything productive. I showered in an attempt to calm down, and now I'm blogging.
I'm trying to convince myself that the only reason this is all so hard and traumatic is these darn medications. I'm not an I-can't-do-this type of person. I just need to calm down and get back to work.
Ok, blog done. Back to work.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Mom had a pretty miserable day. Turns out she received 7 attiban (anti anxiety drug) in the last 24 hours, which is enough to make any patient a drugged up mess. They are pulling her completely off the Attiban, and the Dr is putting her on something else that will work better for her, we hope.
Today was really a slide. 2 days ago she was joking around with us and having a good time, yesterday she could only mumble incoherent stuff like having to get hometo milk the cows and do the dishes. To say nothing of her babies. Today, she couldn't speak at all. She hasn't eaten for 2 days. And doesn't seem to be able to drink . Kathy put some little liquid in a straw and released it into her mouth, but she didn't seem to want that either. She is still getting IV's.

The Dr that came in and talked to us today thinks that she will do better tomorrow with the change of drugs that he has ordered. I am counting on it. It has been a challenging day. It is 7 pm now. She will be waking up soon to start the sundowners syndrome if the Dr missed his mark. Hopefully, he didn't.

Signature papers

Christa gave me her noterized signature papers...still waiting for Brett's/Chads............

Update on Grandma, for anyone concerned.

I think that this is mostly for BJ's knowledge. When they got my mom up last night and asked her to take a step, with support, she could not do it. And they had to fight her for 3 hours while she was SO ANGRY because people wouldn't help her to go home. Mom cried and Anne cried. I wasn't there, as we have decided that we need to spread out the help over there so we don't leave my dad alone to deal with it for long periods. Mom also refused to eat yesterday.

It is SO HARD to watch this process. We love her with all of our hearts. But she needs rehab to walk, which means a care center...so that is what we will be doing this week: arranging for that.
I will be going over this morning to talk to the social worker about our options, and then we will know where to start. Cambrie arrives on Thursday...I suspect that she will need to spend some time with Christa, or be alone here while I am helping to get things settled. She leaves to go to Idaho Sept 1 and then I will be on Full time duty here.

I will do my best to keep writing you BJ. I will write at least one letter a week, but don't expect anything more. Hopefully the family will be able to write you more. You are very much on my mind and in my prayers every day. But for the next couple of weeks while we try to work through the problems of transitioning my mom to HOPEFULLY get enough rehabilitation to get her to come home, it is going to be tough.

When Norma broke her hip and was in a care center to do rehab, when she was awake she would cry and beg and plead and be SO upset, that they had to keep giving her heavy sedatives to calm her down. The sedatives made her sleep most of the time, so rehab could't happen. That is what I am forseeing with mom's case. I hope I am wrong. But that is the story.

Once we know where she will be, I am certain she would appreciate visitors. I will keep you posted, of course.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What a week!

This year, for the first time,I bought the M-F Ed week. I always enjoy it, but Monday when I was in class I kept thinking about my daughters who are young mother's and how much more THEY needed to fill up their buckets than I do. So I decided to give the opportunity to them. Turns out that the Dastrups were able to go Monday as well, as Brighams mom was on same wavelength and had taken the kids so CK and Brigham could go. They loved it. I took Tues and tended for CK so she could go again.

Thursday was Kim and I's 34 anniversary, so I left ED week early that day so that we could go to "The Roof" for our special day. That was fun!

Friday, I was sitting in the Marrriot Center and they got up to do the announcements before class and asked "if there is a Marilyn Groneman or an Anne Weber here, they need to report to the Talmage building immediately." THAT got my attention. Of course, as luck would have it, I sitting clear down on the floor, so I to get up and leave, just as it was starting. I was smart enough to figure out that if they were looking for Anne & I that it was likely a problem with one of my parents. So I made some phone calls, and found Katheryn at mom and dad's. Mom had taken a tumble, well, collapsed is more like it. Dad had seen her starting to sink to the floor and was able to prevent a total fall. Keith and Kathy were there because they were going to go to the Credit Union together to get a notary to sign some legal documents that needed witnesses. But even with Kathy, Keith and my dad, they weren't able to get mom off of the floor. Her legs were cramping pretty severely and she was hurting worse when they tried to get her up. Because she went down in the hallway, they weren't able to get to the sides of her to pick her up. So she laid there for 3 plus hours while they kept trying. In the end, with the pain, they ended up calling 911 and they hauled her away to the hospital.
At first we thought that she had had a stroke, like her mom did. Her words were pretty slurred. But she is able to use both sides of her body and her words cleared up till yesterday, she still sounded normal. 2 Dr's at the hospital and Brigham all expressed doubt that mom will be able to be released to home, as they expect that she will have to have some physical therapy to be able to walk again. But yesterday, the nurse said that she had walked (with help) to the commode, so that was very encouraging. I think she will be fine to go home hopefully tomorrow, but will likely need some assistance for awhile from kids. Don't know how much yet.

Dastrups had gone up to the canyon close to home at about 2:30 Friday afternoon to find out that they were too late...all campsites taken, so they followed me up to the Mtn property and good times were had by all! We even cooked corn on the cob in their husks and foil in the coals of the fire and mine was perfect! Ty was on his self destruct mode, so he needed a close shadow to protect him from himself. But it was FUN!
I was sorry to have to leave by 8:45AM TO go home to a funeral at our church (as the compassionate service member and friend to the family I wanted to support and indeed was needed to help with the food at their funeral luncheon). Then I came home. And felt ENTIRELY exhausted, so I did very little around here to catch up. Instead we watched a movie with Brett and Katie. A very busy week, but most of it was good!

I must also report one HUGE tender mercy of the Lord via my good husband! I have dreaded Monday coming because I was SURE I was scheduled for a colonoscopy. I have done that before. The scope itself isn't that big of a deal, but the PREP that you have to do to clean everything out so they can do the scope is miserable. Today was that day, I thought. But Kim pointed out that it was on our calendars for SEPT 20, not tomorrow. I had received the instructions of what to do this last week in the mail, so that only added to my sureness that Monday was the day. BUT, I KNEW that I didn't want to have to do that prep 2 times if I was wrong about the day. So I called the hospital-knowing that since it was Sunday that I wouldn't be able to talk to that dept at all. But the operator was able to find me on the schedule for Sept 20and not tomorrow, so I was SAVED!! Fabulous!!! Thank you honey! You are awesome and I love you TONS!

For Buff: Mountain trip

We had a great week at the mountain.  Only Chad/Erica/Emmy said they could go.  Brett was supposed to work and Christa was going to camp closer to their house.  I promised to provide dinner & breakfast.  Lo and behold, Brett's work schedule changed with his new job so he and Katie showed up at the mountain.  We had just finished dinner and were thinking about playing a game when a couple more vehicles showed up...it was yer mom in our car and the Dastrups in their van!  What a pleasant surprise!  The reason yer mom didn't come with me is because Grandma H fell and was dehydrated and low in potassium so was in the horse-piddle. After they decided she was OK, Marilyn decided to come up after all.  Dastrups brought their dogs to roast so they did that and some folks made smores.  B&K stayed in the old trailer, C&E put up a tent (they wanted to see how Emmy would do), and C&B stayed in Grandma's (now our) trailer.  It's the first time anyone has used either of those trailers in years.   In the morning I was quiet to not wake Grandma and thought I was early...only to find Emmy was already out with her parents on a hike and Christa and Ty were already up wandering around camp.  It was only about 6 or 6:30 or so.  I built a fire as it was on the chilly side and as folks woke up they warmed themselves by the fire.  I didn't have near enough food for everyone for breakfast so I cooked and shared what I had but some folks were on their own. (I would have had enough with notice that people were going to come!)  I took the ATVs up so everyone had a short ride.  Ty was excited to see and sit on the 'tractors'.  I was the last one to leave and I guess the squirrels were just too shy of all those people because after everyone else left, three squirrels came out, went into the squirrel houses to get the food Benjamin had left for them there and just hung around outside our trailer for a while nibbling on pancakes and pretzels.  It was a great time.....hope we can do it again before long.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Mountain!

What a fun overnight outing at the mountain! Sorry I didn't get pictures of everyone who was there, but here is what I have. We had a GREAT time. Emmy was asleep before we even got down the mountain (like before we even got to the main road). Poor thing! But we think she's back on schedule now.

We missed you, Cambrie and Fam (and Buffy too, of course)!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Videos per gramps request

Everything is more fun when it is naughty.

lydia sings family night song

countdown to utah

Restaurant Review: The Roof

So I dunno how many times I've been to The Roof to eat.  Maybe 6 or 7.  The first time we went it was like $22/person and I thought that was high.   Yesterday it was $37 and it was a nice, romantic get away for Marilyn and I, but I was really dissapointed in the food.  Not the quality of the food...the quality is aways great, but the recipes they used.  Of course the salad stuff was really good and the cold shrimp with lemon squeezed on it dipped in their seafood sauce (peppery) was really good.  Deserts were fantastic as usual, especially the Key Lime Pie.  However, they had steak in shitakke mushroom sauce  that was so bland there was no flavor..tasted like biting into a fresh side of beef hanging on a hook.  They had some fancy named breaded fish in a 'citrus sauce' that didn't have any flavor and the sauce tasted more like Mexican salsa than citrus sauce.  They had chicken cordon blu (sp?) that was just.....there...I couldn't taste any swiss cheese....it was dry chicken with some ham rolled up in it.   I'm sure the waitress was disgusted that I left most of that stuff on my plate without eating it. I finished filling up on shrimp and deserts. I hope they just had a bad day and it wasn't an indicator of how things normally are.  I would have enjoyed the food more at Purple Turtle.  Next year it's Chef's Table for our anniversary....I haven't been dissappointed there yet. (I'd like to go to Ruths Chris but I'm not feeling that rich).

Thursday, August 19, 2010

OK....who's preggers?!?

Who added the new picture to the blog header...huh?!?

34 years

Happy Anniversary to my sweetheart. I LOVE YOU!  34 years of loving and arguing and enjoying each other's company and raising kids and being together and playing jokes and buying houses and planning weddings and sending off missionaries and...and....and.....a lot of stuff. The bottom line is that every day that I see you kicking around my house I have to pinch myself to make sure it's real because I generally don't have that much good luck. I smile watching you reading.  I smile watching you fix food.  I smile watching you talk on my telephone.  I smile when you scratch my back at night.   What good fortune I have!  I wouldn't want to live without you. (p.s. the 34 years is only the time we've been married.  We spent a lot of time together before that!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Informal poll

On Saturday we had a great dinner with Gronemans, Gronemans, and Dastrups. It was nice to see everyone but I was so busy doing things and had different grandkids doing different things that I didn't get to spend nearly as much time with each child as I wanted to. The net result was probably kids thinking I didn't care for them any more :-( In a world where I was king (HA!) I would probably only do big family dinners once in a blue moon where everyone is busy fixing food and cleaning up almost the entire time then leave for home. Instead, I would rather go to Walmart, get some pizza's or BBQ pork and have FUN instead of work. The food wouldn't be as good, but the company would be better. Just taking an informal poll to see your view of things. ??

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Marilyn the Gardener

Ain't she cute?  Click picture to see more. Marilyn wanted me to take some pictures of her showing what she "does" as a hobby. This is the best representation of what she does. Beautiful girl standing in a beautiful garden paradise.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ice cream night

My girls have no idea that there is any place other than Rite Aid that you can go to get an ice cream cone. It lacks atmosphere so we go next door to a medical plaza (after 5pm) with our cones and play on their ramps/stairs and have a great time playing tag, hide and seek, jumping down the stairs together. They have as much fun doing this as they do at disneyland if not more. Fun tradition.
Oh and the great thing is we only have to get 1 cone because we can put 1/2 inch of icecream in the top of lydia's cone and she is happy for a half hour and kiera will just eat it from a cup.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anyone interested?

FYI, our Stake is doing a swap meet today at the church by the round-about. It starts at 6:30 and everything is free. If you want to bring stuff to get rid of, that works too, but if you do, try to bring it at least 1/2 hour ahead of start time. We are invited to bring household items, clothing, books and about anything else you would find at a yard sale.

I salute you Bert

I didn't think I'd have any trouble giving myself injections. But when the moment came this morning, I chickened out. Steve gave me my subcutaneous injection (in my belly) and it didn't hurt a bit. I have no problems giving injections, and no problems with other people giving them to me, but I could bring myself to give it to myself. Bert-- hats off to you that you've done it for so long.

Pretty soon I'll have multiple injections daily and some of them intramuscular. Steve won't be around for some of them so I'll have to be brave enough to give them to myself. I'm getting myself psychologically prepared : {

Olive Oil

Which olive oil to buy and which to stay away from  HERE

Monday, August 09, 2010

Mountain trip anyone?

We've got next weekend and the weekend after that with no scheduled plans.  Anyone want to 'plan' a mountain trip?  We have 3 trailers to use as well as grass for tent.  I'll provide dinner/breakfast.  If so, which weekend?  If not, I'll make my own plans. :-)    Cambrie, do you want/will you have time for a mountain evening while here?  UPDATE:  Based on comments, we'll do it Friday 20th and Saturday 21st (see calendar).  Bretsker, suggest another date to do it again.

Spin Cycle

So while we were eating dinner at the hospital one day this week, I told Brett to go to bed before I got home since he had to work again the next day (he works from 6:00am - 6:30pm, and I work from about 1:30pm to 10:00pm so we meet for dinner when he's done). Here's our conversation:

Katie: Go to bed before I get home.
Brett: Wake me up and give me a hug when you get there.
Katie: Ok, but I don't want to interrupt your REM cycle.
Brett: That's ok, I'll will be on spin cycle anyway, so it's almost done.

(I think this was a subconscious message for me to do laundry).

I'm all done working at the hospital for the summer - YAY!!!! My out-of-town sisters are both going to be here this week so I'll be spending a lot of time hanging out and quoting movies instead of prepping for school, but oh well... I keep having nightmares about not being prepared the first day - maybe I really should start thinking about it.

Brett got a new job offer while we were driving home from Moab. I'll let him post about that himself sometime since he knows the story better than I do.

And that's pretty much it from us. (For more on our fabulous vacations this summer, see other posts or our blog!).

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Benjamin and Gramps go to the mountain

After a few efforts to go camping together...and after failing for one reason or another, Benjamin and Gramps finally went camping!  Grandma picked up Mr. Benjamin and met me in Novell's parking lot on Friday.  Grandmap dropped Benjamin off and he and I headed for the mountain while Grandma went back home.  It was great.  After the rain we'd had the past few evenings, I was afraid we were going to get rained out but Benjamin looked at the sky, and made a prediction that we wouldn't get rained on that day.  He was right!  We started a fire in the firepit and 'roasted some dogs'.   After our dinner of hot dogs, we made smores.  Benjamin said he made up a recipe for double/triple decker smores but we stuck with old fashioned single decker smores.    We played 'Trouble' and watched Spy Kids on the little DVD player.  After that we hit the sack for some ZZzzzzs. 

In the morning it was pretty cool outside (and inside) so we heated up the trailer by cooking up a bacon and pancake breakfast.  After breakfast we played more 'Trouble' and played a round of 'Jenga'.  We then played a couple of games of Dominos.   Once the sun was fully up and starting to get warm outside we went on a hike, rolled rocks down the hill, and spent some time smashing little rocks with big rocks.  Benjamin said he was going to save all the sparkles and make a trophy out of them for his mom that said "World's Greatest Mom".  I asked him if he was ever going to get married and leave home and he said he probably would, but he didn't want to because he loved spending time with his mom.  (You can tell he's not a teenager yet).

We then had an archery contest of shooting the arrow between the limbs of a tree.  We both failed miserably for the most part but once in a while he or I would get it through.  After that we decided to make some rock houses for the squirrels.  Benjamin had just finished putting the final touches on the roof of the first squirrel house and had put a leftover pancake in it when a squirrel showed up.  We were sitting only about 5 feet from the rock house but the squirrel didn't care.  He sniffed around and went straight into the rock house, stole a pancake and took it over to the deck to eat it.    Benjamin decided to build another rock house next to the first.  As he was building that, the squirrel came back multiple times.  One time Benjamin was laughing at me and I didn't know why until I looked down and there was the squirrel right between my feet!.  He went into the house and stole another leftover pancake.   Benjamin said he had an idea and went back in the trailer and before I knew it he was throwing Grandma's macadamia nuts out for the squirrels.  I quickly let him know that wasn't a good idea.

It rained on us at about lunchtime.  We decided to head home to watch more movies and play Wii but we met Chad coming up the road and he told us that I needed to drop Benjamin off at his other Grandparents house there in Springville which I did.  We sure had a grand time!  Thanks Brigham/Christa for letting Benjamin go camping with me!  Hope you can all come up and spend the night at the mountain soon.  In the words of Benjamin: "That would be awesome!"

Katie, Christa, Brett, and Brigham go Canyoneering

You've read about this in other blogs, but I'm putting this here for Buff's benefit.  I'm shamelessly stealing Brett's and Christa's blog posts and sticking them here:
The advice we've been getting as a non-childrened married couple is: Play. More.So that's what we did earlier this week. We went with the biggest advocates of the "Play, more" ideology, my sister and brother-in-law, Christa and Brigham, and spent Monday-Wednesday playing.  We took the inaugural trip of their newly purchased car to Moab, and into Arches.

Monday: We hiked. Pictures do a better job of it, so I won't try to explain it. We hit the movies for "Salt" Monday night.
Tuesday: We woke up, left, and showed up to our tour company place to go "Canyoneering" where we discovered that we were very un-prepared for the trip. To our credit, we did show up the day before to verify that we had all we needed. We thought we were ready -- she told us we'd be fine. We weren't. Luckily, our tour guide was awesome, and went home to get us rain jackets, and the company owner brought in a rain jacket for us. Secondly, we found out from our tour guide that all of his previous groups he had taken were experienced climbers, and, well, we essentially had no experience at all in the group. He assured us he could get us through it safely, and we were pretty excited to do it, so... we did. We got fitted in thermals (yes, thermals in August in Moab -- and yes, we were glad to have them), wet-suits, helmets, gloves, and our borrowed rain jackets.

We drove up a mountain, parked the van, and started on a trail. When we got to the river, we sort of just found a tree to hide behind as we got rid of the normal clothes and put on a wet-suit and gear. As we were hiking the trail toward the river, our guide said "wow... you can hear the water already..." It had been raining previous to our coming, and, well, he said he's never seen the water that high. Or that cold. And as if that wasn't enough, again, he was with a group of 4 completely inexperienced climbers on a tour where he had only been guiding experienced climbers.

The beginnings were a touch rough for a minute as he had to teach us all how to rappel and we clumsily made our way down. The rest of the way was spectacular. We were practically inside of a water-carved cave going down the side of, and sometimes, the middle of waterfalls. We descended 7 rappels in all. The water was very cold, and sometimes our feet would slip out from under us and we'd end up right in the waterfall as we quickly tried to let the rappel loose to drop as fast as we could. It was too loud in this near-water-cave place to talk to the guide, so it was, well, exciting to go over an edge, not knowing what we were about to do. There was a lot of "Figure it out as you go" and I'm sure a lot of "What in the world am I doing bringing these people here..." from the tour guide. Our guide was great, and very nice to work with. While the pictures of course can't capture it all as we were trying to protect the camera from the water, it'll give you some idea of what it was like.

Afterward, we did another 5-mile round trip hike on the negro bill canyon trail. We then ate unhealthy food and hit the movies again for Inception. We were pressed for time, so Katie didn't have time to finish her frosty. Feeling sympathy for her, I successfully smuggled the frosty into the theater in my pocket, where she got to finish enjoying it.

Wednesday, we slept in, and hit a few more spots in arches before we left for home again.  Lots of fun trip. Glad we went! Thanks for inviting us Christa and Brigham!
Four beginners. Seven beautiful, fast-flowing waterfalls. One crazy idea to rappel down them, and a guide loopy enough to take on the task. Add it all up and you get a day never to forget!

We went with my brother and his wife, and between the four of us we could still count all of the times we'd been rappelling on one hand. The canyoneering trip that we chose was for experienced rappellers (as we found out when we arrived), but our guide assured us that he could get us through in one piece if we still wanted to go. Of course we did!

Anyone watching a video of our experience might think that they were watching clips from "America's Funniest Videos": there was plenty of slipping on slimy rocks, crashing into the side of the canyon, going under the waterfalls, and general spasticity. Put that together with our ultra-attractive canyoneering attire (rain jackets over helmets and wet suits), and my guess is that we would have sent anyone with the slightest degree of experience into hysterics. Luckily we were the only ones in the whole canyon. Our guide might have been laughing, but the roaring of the waterfall drowned it out (he said the water was at the highest level he'd ever seen it thanks to the rain for several days beforehand-- it was also colder than normal. BRRRRRRRR!).

Despite our complete lack of canyoneering skills, it was an amazing experience! Our rappels took us through this beautiful slot canyon that would have been a pleasure just to see. Add the thrill of rappelling down gorgeous waterfalls, and it was an experience like no other!

The rest of our trip was spent hiking around in Arches National Park and enjoying the amazing beauty there. We went on a 7 mile hike on primitive trails that was fantastic. It felt so good to be back out in nature again! Our goal is to somehow convince Jacob that nature is way better than electronics. Wish us luck!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Dinner next Sunday, (8 days)

Yup. It is over time for doing this. Well, we did gather at the Dastrups for the 4th, but that was a month ago. It is time for another gathering on Aug 15. Who can come? And what time are you available? (I promised the Dastrups to have a King Crab dinner, and it still hasn't happened. Dastrups will next week work for ya?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Greetings from the Dastrups, but sorry, I am not a Dastrup!

Quiet. It is something that you appreciate more when you have children around. Right now, Jacob and Ty are in bed and Benjamin is having a "late night" (till 9pm) with a friend, Max.
Imagine! I can type this without any little helpful fingers contributing to this dialog!

I am happy to report that in spite of the forecast of rain in Moab today, that the Dastrups and Brett and Katie were able to do their Canyoneering adventure. It wasn't canceled. Some of you may not know what Canyoneering is. I leave it to the adventurers to post pictures (hopefully they were able to buy a water camera) to give you a better idea.

All's quiet on the Western front, but SOMETHING always seems to be a crisis when you return from a vacation. And this is no exception. The water turned on this morning early and made one setting change and was still going at about 6 pm. I tried to turn it off at the box in the garage,but that did nothing. Luckily Kim had come up to spend a couple of hours with the boys and I before he headed home to mow the grass, so he was able to open the valve box in the back and turn it off there. He thinks they have a broken silanoid (whatever that is). Or it may be something worse. So that won't be the best of news.
Ty is such a happy little thing, most of the time. At least until you won't let him do whatever it is that he NEEDS to do!!! Then you are in troubbbbllle! I predict that he will be a very fun personality and he will be the life of the party type.
Cut off from his old favorite, cars, Jacob spent the day (minus this morning when he was in school) watching the same veggie tales tape that is stuck in the VHS tv that he can operate, about a million times. Even when Gramps went down to play with him, he just still wanted to keep stopping the tape, rewinding it a million times, so that he could watch his favorite parts about 4 times in one minute. But he's happy, so that is good.
Benjamin and I had a hockey game last night after the other 2 went to bed. We were going to do that again tonight, but his friend Max broke one of the hockey sticks today. Need new ones.

Our trip this last weekend to our friends (Kirk's) cabin was fun and relaxing and we ate like pigs. Now, I have a lot of un-doing to do. :( But sometimes, it is just time to put away the restraints have have fun, as long as it isn't breaking some law that the Lord gives. And fun we had! ATV-ING eating and games, and an AWESOME sacrament meeting that the Scofield branch. I loved it!
Tomorrow, I shall go home when the real parents arrive here to take over, and clean up from the Scofield trek, and then Gramps and Benjamin are doing an all man camp up at the mtn on Friday.
That's about it folks!


When the fedex guy came to the door with a box my girls started removing their shoes because the last box that was delivered to our door contained shoes. I informed them as I opened it,
"Sorry ladies, it is not shoes. It is just medicine"
Kiera "Is that the medicine so that you can have a baby in your tummy?" (direct quote).
(flabergasted)..."um well, no but it is to help us get a baby".

I couldn't believe it. We have never told Kiera anything at all about the entire situation. We only ever say in prayers "please help us to get a baby in our family". She could not have known any other way than through the spirit. I tried later to ask her what the medicine was for but all she said was "I don't know".

This is the 4th time in the past year that she has had very obvious intuition about the status of future siblings in our family.

Anywho, I start this mess of meds next tuesday. My surrogate started today. Our contract is done and waiting to be signed. Here we go!!!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Stupid Camera

We spent a nice relaxing weekend in the Kirk's cabin near Scofield. ATV riding, playing games, sleeping in, and eating. Lots of eating. I took lots of pictures. During the night on SaturdayPM/SundayAM I was awakened a couple of times by the camera beeping. I'd get up...turn it off and on a couple of times then make sure it was off...only to be woken up a couple of hours later to it beeping. Anyway...got home and went to look at the pictures.....what pictures? They were all gone. Grrrrrrrrrr.

BrainBashers: Common Answers - July

25 Chad Groneman
375 Kim Groneman
386 Brett Groneman
936 Katie Groneman