05 October 2009


BLEE was diagnosed with a type of vasculitis called Henoch-Schonlein Purpura, or HSP. It is pretty rare. In very layman's terms it is an allergic reaction to a cold virus that she had a couple of weeks ago that barely registered on the radar. HSP presented itself first as two sprained ankles and bruising on the bottom of her feet and in between her toes. We couldn't think of an instance that she had gotten hurt or complained - she isn't graceful though so we didn't think much of it and gave her some ice and firm kicks to wear. A day later the spots showed up. They were slightly raised and bright red. These spots were inflamed vessels that eventually burst, turning the spots into a deep purple bruise, in some cases they look like a blood blister.

It attacks the joints (knees, ankles and feet) causing arthritis, bruising and swelling. Swollen areas have an elevated temperature as well. It is quite painful, but happy day! not contagious. It is viral so there isn't much we can do but treat the pain and swelling with ibuprofen. We take her in for frequent urinalysis to keep a close eye on her kidneys. She should recover fully with no lasting effects (if we keep it out of her kidneys).

It could all be over next week or last a year. She has had it at least a week and not missed a day of school so far (she is quite motivated by a bike, helmet and bike lock a local business gives out for perfect attendance). She has been such a trooper though. Walking is quite painful because of the swelling. The bruises and arthritis probably don't help either. She thinks that it is cool that she gets to wear her slippers to school (seriously they don't make shoes for marshmellows) and being carried around the house has not gotten old yet. We are lucky that she is so young, just 10 years older and the prognosis changes drastically. Apparently adults just aren't as resilient.

Today was the best day that she has had since last Monday. She went to school while I hunted down a wheelchair for her. When I went to pick her up she came almost skipping out. I was so relieved. We shared happy hugs and huzzahs thinking that the worst was over, but during tonight's bath we found a new wave of spots and the swelling has come back with a vengeance (probably the almost skipping part didn't help). The spots are so numerous that they are melding together. She looked at me with her half numb face (she had two cavities filled today and is still very swollen and numb - can't win sometimes - just ask the Packers) and with her crooked little mouth, half smiled and said that it would probably not be over until Wednesday night...we have been saying since the beginning it could all be over on Wednesday.

06 July 2009


My grandparents recently died after a well lived ride. They had been married for over fifty years. They had two girls together and raised eight amazing children (my grandfather was married to my dad's mom for several years - my dad being baby #7). So a lot of life lived. I as one of about 50 grandkids received an inheritance of about 150 canning jars (I think we all got about that many!). I was totally stoked being handy in the kitchen and in need of more jars for my tomato crop this year. There was a catch though - remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is... I had to empty a life time of canning out of said jars.

My grandmother canned everything so we started a guessing game of what we thought had been in the jars at one time before the tiny organisms took over. Green beans were the easiest. They looked pretty good - at least River thought so. They were probably done in the 90s. '93 was the latest marked jar and '61 was the earliest. Beets weren't so bad either. They had kept their shape and the color was amazing - a beautiful sunset salmon, EEP has slippers that color. Next were cherries. They looked like, well, cherries. River wouldn't touch them (I started covering everything with cherries at this point). We opened apricots, peaches, and pears - all quite sloshy it made me think of "HOLES" and "sploosh", a very descriptive word brought home. Plums were a little gelatinous. At one point I thought I had opened spiced peaches but the kids figured out it was tomatoes with seeds. So far everything was worth the effort and our garden soil was going to get a rich boost.

The last two boxes (eight in all) sat too long to get put into the garden (I will post pictures - the corn is thigh high!!). I decided to use the toilet and disposal. This is where it may become to gross for the weak stomachs in the group...I opened the box and found most of the jars were half empty...no there was no juice on the outsides, so I guess it could have been worse. Inside the jars were masses of white and pink gloppy matter. I made the mistake on the first jar in not having enough air in my lungs for the whole project. I had to breath...It was b-a-d! The smell was the kind that lingered in the back of your throat and you could actually taste it in your mouth. It was probably toxic - I'll let you know if we die this week. Apparently at one point this had been some sort of meat. I am assuming the first few jars were...beef, maybe lamb? and the rest we're fairly confident were chicken. I haven't been able to eat any chicken since...we need to let that one mellow for awhile.

But now we are DONE!!! Shiny, clean jars fill my shelf waiting for fall to come around! I am sooooo glad I have a dishwasher!!! Blessings all around today. How amazing is that though?! My grandparents gave me the gift that keeps giving. My children and I have had the most bizarre bonding experience that we are most likely not going to forget anytime soon (smell is the strongest memory). In the fall we will bond again over steaming tomatoes and peaches and in the winter we will giggle over spaghetti and peach cobbler. What memories they have given us! And I thought I was getting empty jars! I can only hope that I leave something so miraculous for my grandchildren!

24 June 2009


Wow it has been so long since I have not done something and here I find a moment and decided I should write a little bit down to prove I really did leave my house this summer.

Well obviously school is out, and not a moment too soon. We started our summer vacation a day early and headed over to Yellowstone. We stayed with our friend's family at their cabin in Island park. The weather was so crazy that our appearance changed drastically from day to day. One day we looked like we had been marooned on an island and were burned and bitten and the next we looked like a bunch of wet dogs. On the day we went home we looked like under dressed penguins in two inches of snow (Seriously you would have thought that none of us had seen snow before). It was amazing! The kids were so great and never complained. BK asked if it were Christmas. Yes, mine are the ones in shorts and t-shirts.

The Park was beautiful as always. It has been 20 years since the fire and there is still a lot of evidence of it, but even more so was all the life that has been slowly growing in its wake. It was neat to rediscover the scenery with my children who have never been, whereas I "grew up" amongst the buffalo (long story, three years and a lot of ice cream and late night Firehole). The family unanimously voted the Fountain Geyser as our favorite sight.

We came home long enough for me to do laundry, two days of Wood Badge Staff training, BBQ with neighbors, high council talk, and to repack. We were off to the Fathers' Day Golf Tournament in Lava.

This is a long standing tradition in our family. We go to Lava to play golf and see if anyone has gotten better since the last year. Who knows, maybe we have PGA potential among us. It has been going on for 11 years and we have only missed it twice due to spring babies (both of which were boys incidentally - B decided to hold off on coming so I would have a chance to get my name on the plaque - hasn't happened yet...).

I think this year was the most fun, plaque inscription or not. We got to play with JP's brother and his wife. I had some amazing drives if I do say so (you take a million swings and odds are one has to connect). The weather kept us from getting sunburned or bitten and even primed us for our most memorable moment.

It started to pour and JP, BK, and I were driving our golf cart, tempers may have been up to begin with, people were trying to pass us, but we were already waiting - patiently...seriously! Some how we found ourselves going down hill in the rain. As breaks were hit (I may have said stop somewhere in there) we just kept going and going. We spun a very wet cookie. I really thought much more was going to happen but JP jumped out and grabbed the frame of the cart and stopped us with those pricey spiked FootJoys of his. Apparently my face was priceless and for that I am grateful that no one had a camera on the fourth hole. I have since then taken his head off the chopping block for that experience.

JP brought back a piano we bequeathed from his mother from that trip (hence the removal of head from chopping block). He has spent the last day and a half sanding it down (I know, bonus points). He was able to get his sisters engraved Hancock off...we love you Aunt K, but it had to go!! This weekend we will finish staining it and finally be able to bring it in the house (he hasn't complained about his car getting booted from the garage, do you think he is running for hubby of the year?). B has been practicing her piano lessons at the church and on a keyboard here at the house...her teacher has not been impressed with keyboarding practices. We are all looking forward to plunking keys at all hours of the day and night.

My sister and her family are coming to visit this weekend and hit the water park. Seriously, how much fun can one person have? I need to have a presidency meeting and prepare for another basic training for scout leaders next week. I have back to back reunions just around the corner and then scouts, another trip, then another reunion, and then scouts and then school and Wood Badge. My DVR is running out of space! Did I mentioned that I am an agoraphobe and never leave my house!

On a calmer note JD is standing!! He isn't walking yet but he is solid enough on his feet that he can pound the drums to death. He likes to get standing and then clap for himself. He usually is rewarded with ample applause from everyone in eye sight. At 15 months he may just be my most advanced child yet...seriously!

Now my laundry is clean again. I have contemplated taking it from the dryer to the suitcase, it would save a step or two. Regardless of what lists may be waiting my attention (clean the garage, fridge and freezer and reorganize the pantry) the laundry is done so the rest of it can wait another day. There is just something peaceful about clean laundry.

25 February 2009

Truly, Madly, Deeply

So we are in the thrifty scout shop again (my most favorite shop in town). This time in search of a shirt for a woman in my sister's ward's troop. JP has become an expert in shirt finding and always gets the best patches and shirts for me so it was no surprise when he pulled a great looking shirt. It was a surprise when he asked if I thought it would be a good fit for himself! He is sooooooooo adorable.

So tonight I find myself happily humming as I sew on patches for him. He has been so good about all of my scouting. He even "volunteered" to be a merit badge councilor. I know I can come off as quite socially disabled - talking about patches, patches, patches, critters, absently-minded tying knots in everything, and wood badgering everyone in khaki to death (but you will thank me if you go).

Yes, it was love at first sight (probably), if only we could remember when that was...

16 February 2009


Hopefully that has a double meaning and I am going to put more effort into writing here. We are back from an overnight visit to the hospital with Baby JD. He had a bad case of croup.

I took him into the quick care where we interrupted a staff meeting. Everyone was super helpful. His sats were still at 98%, but he was working really hard to keep it that way. They gave him three doses of one kind of medicine in the quick care and switched when that didn't work and sent us upstairs to our pediatrician for two doses of something else (I was a little sleep deprived). JD hated the nebulizer so much that he threw-up all over. From there we were admitted to the hospital where they started giving him the steroids intravenously, and he finally started improving.

We were on the peds floor and they had no food for babies but were willing to blend anything on their menu - fajitas or burgers...seriously! He wouldn't eat anything we brought him except pudding...not really surprising there.

The best technique we found to calm him down was a fist full of hair. Between doctors, nurses, rts, and whoever the lady with the spiky black hair was we did not sleep. It is so nice to be home. Now I just have to retrain him to sleep on his own and with my hair out of his mouth...keep your fingers crossed.

01 January 2009

Happy New Year!!

Here's a fabulous slideshow of New Year celebrations around the world.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Besides the obvious (you only have baby 4 once), I would love to say that I have done some really crazy thing but I am not that crazy so really crazy comes difficult to me.

2. What are your New Year's resolutions for 2009?
I am currently working on compassion and empathy. I know that some of you are thinking - start small this is too big, but I think I'm ready for big.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Do I count? My sister had one too. Cousins!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Seriously?! Do movies count? I did buy something that started it's journey in China...

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Color in my living room, paint party anyone?

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
March 26th. JD's birth day.

8. What was your biggest success?
Any day that I had two rooms clean top to bottom simultaneously.

9. What was your biggest failure?
My toewriting is still illegible. BEANS!!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Broke my baby toe - maybe that's why my writing was bad...

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A couple of long sleeve tees that cover my belly button (hard to find!)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
The armed forces, mothers that provided a variety of food for their children (whether it was receive well or not), postal workers (my mail arrived each day wind, rain or snow), and volunteers - you know those people who say I am busy, I have a life, a family, religious duties, a dog and two cats, soccer treats this Saturday, cub scouts, swimming lessons, etcetra; but there might be more that I can do.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I choose to be happily ignorant here.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Ha! China... :o)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Playaways at the library!!!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? (It's never actually a song from the year in question)
Lump...long story...or maybe not. My kids have discovered music and love it. Hmmm, that was surprisingly short.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you a. happier or sadder? b. thinner or fatter? c. richer or poorer?
a. happier b. Much, much, much thinner - don't be jealous, giving birth can do that to you. c. richer, in many, many ways.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Camping, hiking and doing the outdoors thing - it really wouldn't take much...just once.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
sheep herding

20. Did you fall in love in 2008?
How could I not, have you cuddled with JD?!

21. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate is a strong word, but I would like to have some words with a person or two.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Psych gives me a good release of endorphins. Sadly it had little competition, what happened to prime time?

23. What was the best book you read?
The possibilities are endless. I think I will let this question dangle, there seems to be a hurricane brewing, run!!

24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That my kids absolutely love whatever I play and sing the words and dance and make it their own.

25. What was your favorite film of this year?
Lars and the Real girl, Prince Caspian, Penelope etc...it is what we do - movie, popcorn, cuddle.

26. What did you want and get?

27. What did you want and not get?
A five year plan.

28. What did you do on your birthday?
I really can't say

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Consistency and planning

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Clean, modest, and comfortable for an on the go mommy (easy to nurse in).

31. What kept you sane?
Good books; church; friends and family, and lists.

32. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
Watching the news doesn't really prepare you for much.

33. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I ain't gonna wear
The clothes that you like
I'm fine and dandy
With the me inside
One look in the mirror
And I'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot
About what you think -Pork and Beans by WEEZER

21 December 2008

New Scarves for the Special Olympics

JJ and my Mom donated a scarf each. I just wanted to showcase their workmanship here before I send them off to Headquarters. Amazing aren't they!! The picture does not do them justice. Mom's has a lot of texture in her pattern and JD approves of JJ's color variation and tassels.
I don't want to darken their gifts with sadness, but there has been a turn of events in next years World Special Olympics. I don't know all of the details but it sounds like economic events in the country have put a huge damper on the games. But Bogus Basin and Brundage Ski Resort stepped up and are graciously hosting the alpine skiing events anyway. A local Boise bank is providing medals. Too bad for all of those hockey, ice skating, and etc. participants. I saw a volunteer coat on Ebay last month, sign of the times.

Thank you for your help Mom and JJ. Some skier will be cozy, warm and so excited!