Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Pictures

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Sunday in the Desert
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox

Want to know which pictures were my favorites??? Then CLICK HERE and check out my craft bloggity blog :)

Friday, May 28, 2010


I FINALLY updated my craft blog. I had a little project I was working on for my daughter's bedroom. Wanna see it???


Let me know what you think! :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010


We just got our bill for our little excursion up north on the airplane. Gasp! Gulp! Faint!

Life Flight to Primary Children's- $16,000.00

That is only for the flight. Not the two ER visits here, the two CT scans, the two ambulance rides, and the 4 day stay in the Neurological Trauma Unit. Can't wait for those bills to start piling in. I am sure they will be here soon.

No amount of money will EVER be worth more than the health & safety of my child. However, that said, it totally stinks that we will still be paying for this whole incident years from now. *Sigh*

We will be heading back up north next week for more tests on my son to see how his head is healing and to make sure that he is fine cognitively and physically. I am hopeful that all will be well. He has improved leaps and bounds this week. So happy about that!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Self.

As you are studying to take the Praxis test this summer please remember that it will all be worth it in the end.

Please remember that you are trying to do something that will make the difference in the lives of those who may need you.

Please remember that even though jumping through all the hoops may be a pain right now, once you have the diploma in your hand, it will all be worth it.

Please remember why it is you are doing this.

As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big 'F' at the top of his papers.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.'

His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.'

His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.'

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school... He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.'

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets.'

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.

They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.'

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'

*Even though this story isn't true (it was written in in 1976 as a fictional story by Elizabeth Silance Ballard for Home Life Magazine). I am sure that there are some Teddy's out there that have had their lives touched by a teacher.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PLEASE Let Him Be Okay. . .

I am stressing out. I just told my son that he can go to school tomorrow. I am stressing about it. I got the okay from the doctors, as long as my son PROMISES to take it easy. They aren't doing anything exciting tomorrow. Just turning in books and signing yearbooks.

We already made arrangements for a friend of his to sit by him and keep an eye on him on the bus. Other friends and all the teachers know to keep an eye on him at school. My son knows what he can and cannot do. Two feet on the ground at all times. No running. No roughhousing. No jumping. No tipping back on chairs. In other words, nothing but walking or sitting. Sounds exciting, huh?

He has begged me to let him go tomorrow. I am seriously nervous, but I know that he needs the social interaction and I know that there are a lot of kids worried about him since his accident. They would all love to see him and to know that he is okay.

It will just be hard to let him go and HOPE that nothing happens to bump his head. I told him that maybe he should wear his motocross helmet all day. He didn't go for it. Can't imagine why.

Next week we go back to Primary Children's for more tests. I certainly hope that we find that everything is healing well. Until then, please keep your fingers crossed for me that everything is going to be okay.

Who would have thought that sending your child to school for one day could be so stressful!?!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If Wishes Were Fishes. . .

Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you could do ANYTHING you wanted??? I do. I try not to spend too much time obsessing over it because it wouldn't be healthy. However, it is fun to just imagine what life could be or would be if wishes came true.

I wish. . .

. . .I could make a living with my camera. Wow, how fun would it be to actually get PAID to take pictures. I know it is possible, but there are just SO many people out there trying to do the same thing that it isn't very likely I would actually make enough money to call it a "job".

. . .I could make a living being creative. I LOVE to create stuff. I LOVE to take all of the ideas in my head and turn them into tangible stuff. Now if I could only get paid to do it.

. . .that I could be a photographer, interior designer, graphic designer, artist, jewelry designer, fashion designer, purse designer, shoe designer, architect, landscape designer, writer, and world traveler all at once! That would be amazing!

. . .that I had so much money I didn't even need to work! Heh, heh. That would be awesome! Then all the things I want to do could just be my hobbies!

. . .that I were debt free.

. . .that all my kiddos could be happy and healthy and injury free.

. . .that I could find a magic bottle with a genie in it. Then I could actually make some of my wishes come true.

Okay. I am done with my wishing. It was good to get it all out. Now back to reality ;)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things I Learned at Primary Childrens

I had a lot of time to ponder while I was at the hospital with my son last week. The light hurt his eyes and noise was also an issue. So, we basically sat in a dark, quiet room. After the craziness of my life with school and moving and everything else that has happened over the past year, it has been a LONG time since I have just sat and done nothing.

So, while I was there, my brain was thinking about all that we were experiencing while we were at our stay in the Neurological Trauma Unit at Primary Children's hospital.

Here are some things that stuck with me:

*The parent "beds" are not beds at all, but rather some kind of a torture device.

*Being admitted through the ER Trauma room was quite the experience. We were whisked into a room with about 10 or so nurses, doctors, surgeons, and even a social worker. It was seriously like a scene from ER.

*The Life Flight plane is about the fastest way you can get up north. I have flown on planes up there before, but this was the fastest I have ever gotten there!

*The food. Well, the food for my son was anything that he wanted. Not that it mattered, because he was too sick to eat. The food for us. Cafeteria. It wasn't awful, but I certainly wouldn't want to eat it everyday.

*CAFFEINE FREE DIET COKE! YES! The cafeteria had fountain drinks and they actually had decaf diet coke. It almost made me cry! I was so happy!

*There are a lot of people up there that are worse off than you. When I saw all of the little kids up there in the Neuro Trauma Unit that had had brain surgery and were recuperating from things much worse than we were, I was thankful and sad at the same time. Thankful it wasn't us, sad that it was them.

*Shared bathrooms, not for parents. In the room we were in, it was a private room, but it had a shared bathroom. The shared bathroom was only for the patients. Not the parents. We had to go out and down the hall to a bathroom. It was a busy bathroom! Only one stall. Every time I went to use it, I had to wait because someone else was in it. Word to the wise, don't wait until the last second, give yourself plenty of time if you need to go because you don't know how long you will be waiting. Once you finally do get in, don't plan on being in there long. About the time you sit down, someone else will be knocking to try and get in.

*Teaching hospitals. What a great concept. Just be prepared if you are staying there that you will have a Doctor and his "posse" there. The Doc walks in and behind him walk 5-8 interns to poke and prod at you. My son was so funny. One night he said, "I am just so sick of being poked at all the time! Why can't they just let me sleep?"

*We met more doctors, surgeons, nurses, interns, nurse assistants, social workers, education specialists, etc. during our stay there than I have in my entire life.

*The staff was wonderful. They really did have my son's best interest and comfort at heart. Everyone was so great to work with. They always kept us up to date on what was happening and made sure we understood everything that was going on. I always felt like my son was in good hands.

*Finally, I hope to NEVER have to go back for an extended stay. Knock on wood! Here is hoping that my kids can just stay happy, healthy, and accident free for a LONG LONG time to come!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy #10 Baby Bear!

True story: Two weeks ago we were at a track meet. We had been there quite a while and I told my hubby, "We need to get home, our 8 year old will be home all alone if we don't hurry!" About that time, my son who was with us said, "Um, mom, he will be 10 next week. He isn't 8."

WOW! Time flies!

I am not sure how the last 10 years have flown by so quickly, but they have.

Happy Birthday Baby Bear! No matter how old you get, you will ALWAYS be MY baby!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly & The Wonderful.

Jake was released from the hospital. He has been improving and was able to go without Morphine long enough to go home. We arrived home safe & sound. He was so happy to get home!

The BAD.
It will take about 6-8 weeks for his brain to heal and we will be making several trips up north this summer for check-ups, MRI's, motor skill exams, and cognitive learning exams, etc.

Side affects he is suffering from or will potentially suffer from: nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, unable to concentrate, irritability, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety. . .just to name a few. These symptoms can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks, or longer.

The Ugly.
They asked us if he had any seizures during all of this. So far he hasn't. They said it was a possibility. Keeping my fingers crossed that does NOT happen.

We were told that there is a possibility for long term effects from his accident. Some that may not show up until 6-12 months from now. That is a LONG time to wait. . .and to wonder. . .

I have been brought to tears many times over the past several days by the outpouring of love and support we have had through all of this. Family and friends, scout leaders, neighbors, Jake's school administration, teachers, doctors, nurses, and more. There has been so much love and support for him, it has helped me realize how many lives this child of mine has touched. We have always called him our "little ray of sunshine", I can see that other people have seen this trait in him as well.

Even though the road to a full recovery is going to be longer than we hoped, I know that with the love and support and prayers from our family and friends that we are going to come through all of this just fine.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Perspective. Again.

I never would have thought when I woke up yesterday morning that I would end up flying to Primary Children's Hospital with my son.

Friday he fell and hit his head while playing on a pogo-stick of all things. They said he had a mild concussion and gave us some medicine and sent us home. We figured within a day or so he would be back to his same 'ol self. Saturday came and went. Things were not improving. Sunday came, things seemed to be getting worse. My mom instinct kept telling me to take him back to the ER on Saturday, but I thought I was just being overprotective and thought that I should just listen to what they told me when they discharged him on Friday.

Finally by Sunday afternoon, I told my hubby to call the ER because I just knew that things weren't right with our son. He called. They said bring him back in.

Long story short. Another CT-Scan revealed that he had a fractured skull, bruising, swelling, and some bleeding on his brain. PANIC! Not something you want to hear about your child.

They called Primary Children's and the neurologist there said to get him here as soon as possible.

So, one ambulance ride to the airport. A Life Flight plane ride, and another ambulance ride to Primary Children's and here we are.

Everyone here has been so helpful and great to work with. I know our son is in good hands. It is just so hard to see him in so much pain.

Perspective on what life is truly all about hit me hard yesterday. Everyone kept asking me how I was enjoying my mother's day.

Well, mother's day was a little bit different for me this year. It was emotional and not at all what I expected it to be; however, it showed me what mother's day is really all about. It made me realize how unconditionally I love each one of my kids and how I would do absolutely anything for them. That is what it really means to be a mother. I don't need cards or flowers to tell me that. Just being here for my son and knowing that he is getting the best care possible is the only gift I needed.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day

It is hard to find a gift for my mother. I never know what she wants. This year my gift was simple. A gift from the heart. A quick look back through the past 40 years of her life and memories as a mother.

Love you mom. Hope your day is great. Happy Mothers Day!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Mothers Day
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create a free digital slideshow

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Get What You Ask For. . .

Tonight I took my youngest son to get a bite to eat. You see I felt like a bad mother because I had finals today and could not make it over to his school for the "Family Lunch" that they had today. He seemed fine with dinner instead (he actually said it was a much better idea) so, my guilt was able to subside. That is the down side of being in school. My schedule is probably less flexible than it is if I were working.

So, we are sitting at dinner (El Pollo Loco, yum!) and my son offered me a bite of his churro. Here is how it went down.

Him- "Do you want a bite of my churro"

Me- "Nope, buddy, I am getting too fat."

Him- "Think about it mom. At least you aren't a fat as (insert name of an obese person you know, I am omitting the name he said to protect the innocent)."

So, I am wondering. . .was that some kind of a compliment? Or was it a way to say, "Yep, you are fat, just not as fat as so-in-so. Haha!

I guess you get what you ask for :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

IRONMAN and Cheapskate Dance

At the finish line:
Finish line

Halfway through the marathon

Hanging out with cousins downtown :) during the Iron Man

Iron Man! We went down to the finish line last night and watched some of the athletes cross the finish line. It was an amazing thing to see. It is so unfathomable to me that these people can push their bodies to do what they did. 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike ride; 26.2 mile run.

One thing that I wasn't able to get a picture of, but sure wished I could have, was a guy who had crashed on his bike and broken his collar bone in 3 places and was still there completing the marathon. He had his arm all bandaged to his side and had a bag of ice on his shoulder. Now that is what I call dedication!


80's Fitness Posing

Ninja Destruction!
Cheapskate dance! The theme for the dance was 80's Fitness. They came up with some interesting looking clothes, don't you think??? The idea behind the dance is to make the entire date as CHEAP as possible. So, some of them hit thrifts stores to find clothes, others raided their parents closets. Then dinner was paper plates, plastic cups, and pizza with ice cream sundaes for dessert.