Friday, December 24, 2010

While we were sick

First off, I wanted to thank everyone for your thoughts, prayers, and acts of service towards our family this past couple weeks.  I have been overwhelmed by the outpour, and extremely grateful for the love we felt from all.  From the bottom of my heart...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

Since Sunday, Caden has been doing great.  He has been able to keep everything he eats or drinks down!  His spunky personality is back.  He continues to improve, and although he thinks he is totally better...his body tells him otherwise.  He has ended up falling asleep by 5 or 5:30!  We went and saw the pediatrician on Tuesday, and she ordered another set of labs.   On Wednesday she called to let us know that his pancreatic enzyme levels had dropped down to 247!!! (They were nearing the 1200's when we were discharged from the hospital)  So we are so glad to see that things were finally going in the right direction. 

While we were sick...life still went on.  We spent alot of time trading off at the hospital, and trying to make sure our other 2 kiddos didn't feel neglected.  Sydney had her dance recital on Saturday (before we were in the hospital, but when Caden was still sick).  She has been taking lessons from Liz in our ward, and has been loving it!  It was so much fun to see her perform. 

Shawn, I and the 2 older kids were supposed to go to an evening showing of Annie at Broadway Palm, but it ended up being a Mommy & Syd date.  We had a great time.  Sydney really loves to sing, and loved watching the 'little' girls up there. 
On Monday (Dec. 13), Shawn worked from home so I could go in and help Sydney's class decorate gingerbread houses.  I love going to my kids classrooms.  I am thankful that I was still able to go.  We had such a fun time.
Shawn took the 2 younger ones to see our neighborhood Santa. 
Sydney had a stockpile of pictures and letters that she had written for Santa and was so excited to give them to him. 
Oh...and this is what happens when your husband dresses your kids. hahahaha

Thanks to Amazon, I was able to get most of my shopping done! I braved the crowds yesterday to get some last minute things, but I am thankful to say that we are ready! Wahoo!

I hope that your Christmas is filled with joy and no sickness!!!

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

We don't want to go fishing...

The night went well!  They finished out the TPN, and Caden was so excited when he woke up and was not 'hooked up' to anything. 

I was a little confused when I talked to the nurse to see when the results of the blood draw would be back.  She said that Dr. G hadn't ordered one.  I guess I just figured that they would want to see what eating food would do to his levels.  

When Dr. G came in he explained that he 'didn't want to go fishing for something he didn't want to find.'  Basically, Caden looked great (heck he was bouncing off the walls).  He couldn't be happier to be able to eat food, and drink.  The doctor said that it can take quite awhile for his enzyme levels to come down.  If we did a test and if the levels were higher, he would have to take a different action. Since he was able to keep everything down, and had no complaints of abdominal pain.....WE WOULD GET TO COME HOME!!

He still needed to talk to his G.I. contact, but if he agreed...then discharge orders would come.  So we took a little walk of the hospital, and tried to pass some time while waiting for the decision. We got back to our room, and then was invited to go decorate gingerbread houses.  While there Dr. G came and visited us.

He said that the other doctor agreed!  So we are home now!  We will see our regular pediatrician in a few days, and have to set up an appointment with a Gastrointestinal Dr. in a few weeks for some follow up labs.  We are so thankful to be home, yet at the same time I hope that he continues to improve.   I definitely don't want to see another hospital room for a while!

Thanks for your prayers, and thoughts of well wishes! 

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

"Spinning our Wheels"

So the last few days have brought alot of the same.

We continued with bowel rest. Which is supposed to make the pancreatic enzymes lower. Caden's did the opposite. Each day they would draw blood...and each day they got higher.

To kinda give you an idea. If you were to draw blood from a 'normal' person, their pancreatic enzymes would register anywhere from 10 to 140.

Caden's started at 990 then went down slightly to 914. They said if he had more bowel rest...then it should continue to decrease. Yesterday his levels were at 1143! They finally got the PICC line in, and my hopes were that this mornings results would have lower enzymes, but they didn't! It was very frustrating!

The doctor even made the comment that it felt like we were 'spinning our wheels.' I thought...You are telling me this!?? Ha! In any normal treatment for pancreatitis his levels should be coming down, but they weren't. He scheduled an ultrasound to make sure there wasn't a psuedocyst on his pancreas that was excreting fluid. The ultrasound came back clean (yay!), and since their current treatment wasn't working......

THEY LET HIM EAT FOOD!!!!!

I can't tell you how happy my boy was just to eat some jello, yogurt, and a scoop of mashed potatoes. I think the thing he loved the most was being able to drink GATORADE! I made the mistake of bringing one in on the first day we were here, and he had been asking for one since.

So far he has been able to keep everything down, and there have been no signs of abdominal pain...so that is a good sign.

They also are going to stop the TPN, and see how he does not being hooked up to anything. (Another yay!)

This day started out with nothing too promising, but ended with lots of good things. Now I am just holding my breath for the results after tomorrow mornings blood draw. I hope that all this 'good stuff' doesn't end up setting us back with even worse blood work!

Till tomorrow!

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Road to Recovery

I know some are wondering what on earth has been happening so here is the low down...

Sunday:  Took Caden to Phoenix Children's Urgent Care Facility.  They determined he had a case of gastroenuritis that hit him really hard.  They were surprised that his vitals were dbetter than he physically appeared.  He was given 1200 cc's of fluid.  He looked a little better after the fluids, but still was lethargic.  They sent us home, and said that if he didn't improve he should see his regular pediatrician.

Monday:  Things looked hopeful.  Caden got through the night without vomiting!  He was still really weak, but for once he was awake (he pretty much spent last Wed - Sunday sleeping), he would talk to me, and he seemed to be improving.  We had phone contact with his Dr., and she had me give him 15ml of water every 15 min to try to keep him hydrated.  He was able to keep that all down, and even had some tortilla chips & a roll without it coming back up.  The only problem was he was still really weak, and somewhat lethargic.  We kinda chalked it up to the fact that he hadn't eaten for over 5 days, and it was going to take some time to get his strength back.

Tuesday:  Another night of no vomiting (Yay!), but he still was super weak.  He actually wanted to have some of the toast that I had made for Sydney so I gave him a piece.  He only got through half of it again before he vomited.  I spoke with his Dr., and she wanted to see him herself because since he got sick she physically hadn't seen him (he was seen by a different doctor in the practice.)  So that afternoon I dropped Thomas off at Anna's, and arranged to have Sydney dropped off there when she was done with school.  Then we headed to the pediatrician.  When we got there she said that he was still dehydrated.  She wanted to rule out appendicitis so she sent us to the ER.  At the ER they ordered a full work up of tests.  After bloodwork came back he was admitted to the hospital.  His liver & pancreas enzymes were elevated.  They felt that it was still a bad stomach bug, but now was affecting his liver and pancreas.  He got an IV to keep him hydrated, and ordered a blood draw for the morning. 

Wednesday:  The morning brought on the needle so they could draw some blood for testing.  Test results showed that his liver enzymes had come down a little, but his pancreas enzymes were  rising.  He was ordered to be on bowel rest (no food or water) for 24 hours due to viral pancreatitis.  This day was just spent hanging out getting fluids, eating ice chips & sips of water.  There hope is that with no water or food it would help his pancreas lie dormant, and let the enzyme levels come down.

Thursday:  That brings us to today.  Blood was drawn in the early morning hours, and we waited for the results.  His pancreas has stablized, but it is still inflamed...in other words...his enzymes didn't get higher, but it didn't really get lower either.  His white blood cell count is really low, but the other concern is that there was a drop in his hemoglobin.  Right now they are going to keep an eye on it.  They are planning on inserting a PICC line to get him some nutrition since he hasn't been able to keep any solids down for about 8 days now.  They will be giving him something called TPN...which basically is a liquid that will give him all the nutrition that his body will need, but still allow bowel rest (nothing by mouth).  They are pretty much assuming that all of the different anamolies in his blood work are due to some sort of viral infection. 

I have learned there is so much truth to the phrase "PRACTICING Medicine."

Looks like we are going to be here atleast 2-3 more days.  I keep ya posted!

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Heart...

My Dear Caden,

My heart aches right now for you.  Late in the night on Tuesday you called for me.  You couldn't go back to sleep.  You didn't complain that you didn't feel well.  You just said that you woke up, and couldn't sleep again.  I being tired myself told you to keep trying, and if you needed to...read a book.  Then I went back to bed. 

When you woke up on Wednesday morning you complained that you were still sooo tired.  You said that you had woke up 2 times, and couldn't sleep....so I chalked up your sleepyness from that.  You got dressed for school, and then layed down on the couch.  I tended to Sydney helping her get ready for school, and when I turned around you were snoozing on the couch.

You didn't appear to have a fever, but we had misplaced the thermometer...so I can never be sure.  All I know is that you slept the ENTIRE day.  Late during the night you began to vomit with accompaning diarreaha.  Thursday continued with much the same.  You finally got up the gumption to try to eat some lunch on Thursday afternoon...only to have it come up within the hour.  The evening and bedtime hours brought much of the same.  It was as if I had a newborn, and was waking up every couple of hours...only I didn't get to nourish you.  Instead I had to watch my baby suffer.

Friday I was even more worried.  You hadn't eaten for 2 days.  I thought if I could just get you to eat some toast...maybe that would help.  You tried, but didn't even eat half of the bread before it came back up.  I called the doctor.  They looked at you.  She prescribed you some Zofran in hopes that you will stop vomiting.  Friday night brought even more wakings.  You are drinking alot, but still no food. 

It has now been 4 whole days, and we are working on our 5th.  Anything I give you won't stay down.  I just want my fun happy Caden back.  We are going to head to the hospital and see if they can figure out what it going on.  My heart can't take it any more. 

Love,
Mommy

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Will we find out...???

It has been kinda strange thinking about the fact that in May I am going to be a mother of 4! FOUR!  I am excited for this little one to join our family.  Sydney, is probably the most excited out of all the kids.  Even months before we decided to have another child, Sydney started asking me when I was going to give her a sister.  We all kinda laughed, and I told her I didn't know...besides the fact that we can't choose whether we have a brother or a sister. 

After I had Thomas I had a really hard time losing the weight that I had gained with him.  Usually within the year I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight (although that is still a little more than where I want to be), but 18months later I still weighed exactly the same weight I did when I gave birth!  Needless to say it was a little depressing.  I was determined to lose the weight before I got pregnant again.  I did really well at first, and lost about 15-20 pounds, but still had about 5-10 that I still wanted to lose.  I kept telling myself that "Once I lost that weight...then I could get pregnant."  For months I was at a plateau, and wasn't losing or gaining any weight.  Around the summer time I started to feel like it was just 'time'...that if I waited to lose that weight...I may never do it.  One thing I knew is there was atleast one more left waiting to join our family, and I would rather he/she come earlier rather than later. 

In September we found out we were expecting.  Shawn was a little shocked, but is getting used to the idea.  Now we just get to wait.  As most of you know, with my last pregnancy we didn't find out what we were having.  I have to tell you...I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!  The problem is that it drove Shawn crazy.  The other issue that we have now is the fact that Sydney is determined that it is a girl...so if a baby brother is joining our family, our little girl is going to need some emotional prep time before the baby arrives.  So we came up with a comprimise that my cousin Lori did with her last pregnancy.  I feel it is perfect because I still get a fun 'surprise', but there is no waiting until the baby comes. Here are the details...

1.  We will be going in for our ultrasound on Monday, December 27th.  While there we will tell the tech that we don't want to know what the gender is, but to put the 'evidence' in an envelope.

2.  Said envelope will be given to my best friend Julie.  She will be the keeper of the secret by opening the envelope, and doing a little shopping for us.

3.  On the evening of the 27th...ALL Family & Friends are invited to our house at 6 pm for a potluck dinner of your favorite Soup or Salad. 

4.  After eating we will open the gift that Julie has given revealing either a BOY or GIRL outfit inside!

So mark your calendars, and let me know if you would like to come.  Really anyone is welcome...heck it is just a good excuse to get together, and catch up! 

It should be lots of fun...in the meantime I get to focus on my family, and the Christmas Season!  Still got some shopping to do!

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Really...I am alive!

For the past few months Shawn has been asking if he could have the password to my blogger account so he could start posting on the blog.  Surprisingly he reads it regularly, and has missed reading our updates.  It hasn't been that I haven't WANTED to write...but it seems like I spend more time catching up on other peoples lives on blogs and Facebook.

When I first started this blog, I was so good at posting.  I always tried to post daily, and I loved it.  I love being able to look back and see everything that was going on at those times in my life.  That is why it makes me a little sad that I have done such a poor job over this past year.  Really it seems that since we added our little Thomas...who is not so little any more...it has been harder for me to keep up with posting. 

Another reason for my lack of posting, for those of you that aren't my friend on Facebook, is that we will be adding yet another addition to our family!!!  He/she will be arriving sometime in late May.  This pregnancy has been good by most standards, and I really hate to complain...but it also has been my worst.  I have had pretty much no desire to much of anything.  My poor family has suffered in the dinner department, and there are times that my house goes far too long without any attention.  I am about 16 weeks now so I am hoping to get back into my groove in many aspects of my life...including blogging!

I still want to record some of the different things that my family experienced over this past year so you may see different/old posts pop up from time to time documenting our adventures.  Hopefully I haven't lost all of my readers! ha!  Check back soon.  I am in the process of giving the blog a little 'facelift,' and also will be telling you about my upcoming ultrasound!

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Monday, August 16, 2010

So they will be Taught

Back in May, I was so excited to have Caden done with school.  The thought of not having to be anywhere at any certain time was so heavenly.  Being 'free'...no schedules, no extra-curricular activities....just plain ol' summer fun. 

Well, we did have alot of fun this summer.  So much that I really neglected this blog!  But I also learned something.  Not only do my kids thrive on structure and routine...SO DO I!  I am one who works well under pressure (I am a great procrastinator) and some of my best work comes out of having a deadline.  So since we never had to be anywhere, there was no 'deadlines'...and I didn't get much done except have a good time with my kids.  Sometimes being 'free' isn't as 'freeing' as you may think!

As the past week came closer I was aching to have the kids back in school. (So ironic, eh)  We need the structure.  I feel more productive....and the kids couldn't be more excited!

School came extra early for Sydney.  She has a late September birthday so she missed the cut-off of Sept 1st.  to be in public schools.  I enrolled her in a charter school near my house in their half day kindergarten!  I am not sure I will have her go into 1st grade next year, but wanted her to have the best opportunity regardless.  So at the end of the year we will see what we think, and most likely transfer her to Caden's school.  Since this was a Charter school...they started on July 28th!
(She asked EVERY SINGLE DAY when school started just so she could wear THIS outfit!)
Luckily another friend from the neighborhood is in class with her, and we get to carpool.  Sydney has loved getting to know Kamdyn.
Two whole weeks later...Caden finally started school!  It was really odd to have him home, and Sydney gone for those two weeks. 
 
(Mom!  The sun hurts my eyes!)
He is so proud to be in 1st grade, and I am really excited for his new teacher.  Last year he had 3 other kids from our ward in his class, but this time he is by himself.  It will be good for him to be able to make some new friends.
A new year brings new things!  We also added another family to our carpool so instead of me driving every other day...we take weeks!  So when it is my turn, I drive the entire week...but then have 2 weeks off!!!  I am last in the rotation so it has been strange not having to worry about that! 

The other 'new' thing is only having ONE kid at home...atleast for half the day!  Sydney doesn't get home until noon!  I am hoping to be able to utilize my time better, and catch up on some of those projects that I have been meaning to do! 

All in all I am so thankful for people that take the time to teach my children.  I am always in awe of those in homeschool...just not my cup of tea!  I am glad that my kids can trust another adult, and build relationships that will help them.  In someways it is sad to realize that my kids are growing up so fast.  Yet at the same time it makes me so happy to watch them learn new things...even if I wasn't the one who taught them. 

Here is to a year of fun and excitement!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

They were smart...

We went to a children's museum while in London, and they had an exhibit all about chairs.  It was interesting how the chair has evolved with time, and how many different types of chairs there are.  I particularly found this one awesome...

It is a potty on wheels! Do you see the belt!? hahaha...Maybe that is why they got trained so fast in the old days.  They were forced to stay put!

I laughed out loud when I saw this picture...poor kid...but yet another ingenious idea!
Instead we have the plastic potties that kids can get up and down with ease.
It probably is better that way, but sometimes I wish I had a belt. :o)
Wish me luck!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Anticipation

For a while, I have wanted to get some type of buffet/dresser to put by this wall in my family room.
It wasn't until a few weeks ago that I really had that itch to find something...NOW!!  I didn't want it to look totally like a dresser, but didn't just want a plain table either.  I started my addiction with Craigslist, and each day would search the ads looking for the perfect piece.  There were a few that I came across, but they were more than I was willing to spend or not something I was totally in love with.  So each day I would check religiously throughout the day hoping I would find something. 

Last night I was looking again, and I came across exactly what I wanted...and for an awesome price!  They would be selling it at a garage sale the next morning all the way across town.  I decided that it was worth the drive, and texted Anna to see if she would want to go on the adventure with me.

I took a risk.  The ad had the crossroads, but no actual address.  There were two different ads...one said it started at 6 am and the other at 7 am.  I didn't want to drive all that way and not be able to get it so I rolled out of bed at 4:45am and went and got Anna at 5am!  We were off!!!

We arrived in the 'area' around 5:45am and there was only one sign near the road so we headed in that direction.  When we got to the house...not much was going on.  Anna and I were a little confused because we thought they would atleast be getting things set up.  I started getting anxious as a few other cars started showing up, and waited....but nothing happened!!  We drove around the neighborhood again to make sure there weren't other sales going on, but still couldn't find it. 

We were so confused as to why someone would post something on craigslist the night prior, and then not be there.  It was now 7 am, and we still couldn't find the house.  We figured the one we sat in front of was an old sign from a previous sale that they never took down.  I was bummed.  We drove all the way across town, and then were going to go home empty handed because they failed to put an actual address.  We did one final drive around the area, and were about to drive home when we saw a van drive up to the intersection, stop and put up a new sign!!! 

My heart skipped!  We turned around, and stopped and asked them if they were the ones that had advertised on Craigslist....THEY WERE!!!   We followed the signs and got to their house...luckily my 'find' was still there!  It definitely needs some TLC, but I am so excited for the potential! 
Seriously the best $40 ever spent!
Hopefully it won't take me too long to refinish it!

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday's Travel Log


A friend recommended that we go to Windsor Castle to see the 'Changing of the Guard'...it is less crowded, but they have the same ceremony.  Instead we had to face the mob at Buckingham Palace.  If you ask Sydney about our trip to London...her favorite part was going to the 'Queen's Palace.'  You can see the pure joy on her face here.

I only wish I had a picture of how sad she was when she realized the Queen wasn't home, and she wouldn't get to meet her!  My poor girl has a princess complex...and this was no Disneyland. hahaha  Atleast she was able to enjoy the show.  It was quite the production!
We wormed our way through the crowds trying to get glimpses of things.  I even had Caden on my shoulders at one point just so he could see above everyone...oh man...that didn't last very long.  He is one big kid!
We had a fun time checking it out, but next time I think I will make more of an effort to follow my friends advice!!  Besides I would love to see the Castle!
Although...the palace is a beautiful building!

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Monday, June 7, 2010

If Only I Would Actually Win

One item that I would LOVE to add to my kitchen is a Bosch Mixer.  I talk about it with Shawn all the time, but he thinks I am good with the second hand Kitchen Aid that I got off craigslist a few years ago.  I try to explain to him that Kitchen Aid doesn't really hold a candle to Bosch when it comes to making bread (not that I really make bread that often...but if I had a Bosch...I probably would! haha) 

Anyhow, so I was so excited to land upon this blog, and see that they were giving away a Bosch for FREE!  I could not believe it!  I don't think I will win, but I am in dreamland..and it would be so cool if I actually won!  So here is my measly attempt at getting and extra entry.

Deals To Meals is a service that compares the prices of all of the major grocery stores, Costco and Walmart and tell you where the best deals are. With those deals they give you recipes and meal plans to use those foods. They are now in 12 states, including Arizona!  I haven't ever used them personally (because I JUST found their blog/website), but am looking into it!  I love the idea of someone else doing all the busy work to get me a deal! 

So go check them out, and I guess you can enter to win too be sure to let them know that I was the one that sent you their way (I get extra entries for referrals :o)...but if you win I expect you to graciously give it to me instead...hahahaha Just kidding *kinda*  Good luck! Oh BTW the contest is open until June 30th and the winner *hopefully me* will be announced on July 4th!

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tuesday's Travel Log

When traveling with kids, it is a must that somewhere along the way we must 'chill' at a playground.  One that was on my MUST DO list was Princess Diana's Memorial Playground found in Kensington Gardens.  The reason why was because it was built around the theme of Peter Pan.  They had Captain Hooks Pirate Ship, The Lost Boys tree house, Indian Teepee's, and much more. 

We took a stroll through the park, and stopped at the playground.  We ended up staying for hours, and if the kids had their way we would have stayed even longer.  It was a wonderful place to let the imagination run free, and create some wonderful memories.  If we return to London, I will be sure to make a second visit.
I seemed to enjoy any park that we came upon in our travels.  One thing that I have noticed in Europe is that every park had gates to enter and exit in!  Totally ingenious!  I loved it because I never had to worry about my kiddos running off and getting lost or running into the street.  In fact we took a stroll down from our hotel to this great little playground.  It was directly adjacent to a pretty busy road, but because it had a gate around the entire playground, I could let my kids run free.  It was a very liberating feeling.  
It is so fun playing at the parks.  They aren't like our typical ones back home so it keeps the kids entertained with all the new things they come upon.  Now if the parks here in the U.S.  could just get on board with the gated playgrounds...that would be great!  (I guess here in the U.S.  there are parents that would actually leave their children there unattended...so sad that we miss out on such a great thing!)

BTW.... If you live here in my neck of the woods, I have a Crafty Goodness Craft Night coming up on Thursday, June 10!  Go to Crafty Goodness to see all the projects we are doing, and order yours today!  I will be taking orders until Thursday, June 3rd, so there isn't much time left!  Hope to see you there!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do you mind if I take a picture??

We didn't have a car in London so we used a stroller alot.  During one of our strolls to get from one place to the other, Sydney fell asleep.  I had no idea tha she had done this until someone stopped and asked if she could take a picture.  Silly kids...I guess she just needed some air. :)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday's Travel Log

Traveling with children makes for a very different experience.  Last time I was in London, I spent my days wandering the streets, and seeing alot of historical sights.  We did see alot of thing this time, but we also did alot of 'kid oriented' things.  I didn't get to see a 'broadway' show, but we still managed to fill our days with alot of fun. 
One of the things we particularly enjoyed was the Science Museum.  It was so big and so much fun that we actually spent about 1 and a half days there!!!  Did I also mention it was FREE!  In fact most of the museums, and alot of the attractions through out London are.  There were only a few things that we actually paid to experience...it sure would be nice if that was the case here in the states!
They had everything thing you can imagine here.  The kids (and me) were in heaven because they were encouraged to touch EVERYTHING!  One of our favorite spots was 'the Garden' in the basement.  It was especially designed for kids 6 and under.  They had a water area, dress up, blocks, slide, and lots of other hands on things the kids loved. 
There was so much to learn about, and experiment with everywhere.  The volume of information was amazing.  Another one of the kids favorite exhibits was "Plasticity".  It was all on the history of plastic.  How it was made, and what things were actually made out of plastic.  The whole exhibit was surrounded by a hundreds of Red long strips of plastic that the kids could run through.  I don't think I laughed so hard in a long time.  Just listening to their giggles as they ran back and forth and into the padded posts had me going for a while.
It really was such a neat place, and kept us busy all day long!
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh How I Wish We Had Flowers Like This!

It seemed like everywhere turned there were beautiful beds of flowers all over London.  Although Daisies are my favorite..Tulips are up there too.  I think because they are my sisters fav, and they remind me of her.  I love Arizona, but it sure would be nice if the weather would allow us to grow beautiful beds of flowers like these!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday's Travel Log

Before we came to London, we made a trip to our local library.  I checked out every children book and travel guide possible.  The childrens books were fun because it gave the kids a little insight of what was there on a level that they could understand. 

The place that was on Caden's 'MUST SEE' list was the Tower of London.  It was originally built in 1078 by the current ruler of London.  Over time more towers were added, and then became a place where prisoners and traitors were sent to be tortured and killed.  It does have quite the morbid history, but the main reason why Caden wanted to go there was to see the Crown Jewels.  Unfortunately they don't allow cameras there so their beauty is captured in our minds.  It is kind of sad that something like that is only worn a few times.  So much jewlery gone to waste.  The other thing Caden found interesting was what they did with the royalties silverware and spices.  I forget what it is called, but they have a special gold plated thing that they lock them up in to prevent them from getting poisoned. 
Sydney especially loved the guards that stood outside the Jewlery, and the Yeoman or "Beefeaters" that gave us a tour.  There was even a special exhibit in the White Tower of all the different armory.  The kids couldn't believe it when they found a knight suit that was actually their size.  They also got to pretend to be guards of the Tower, and use different 'weapons' to keep out the 'bad guys.' 

Since we were so close to Tower Bridge we walked over there for the Exhibition tour. We got to ride an elevator to the top and walk across the top of the bridge.  The views were incredible.  Afterwards we went down to the engine room.  Caden really enjoyed seeing how the bridge actually worked, and what they had to do in order to raise it for the passage of boats.  It was such a great learning experience for the kids.   
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Friday, May 7, 2010

My New Life

This seems to be on everyone's blog, but it really is something I couldn't pass up.  Stephanie is such an inspiration of what attitude that I need to have on my 'bad' days...because really...my life is wonderful.  I am thankful for my family, and my children.  Thank you Stephanie for reminding me how divine the role of motherhood really is.  For reminding me that life is truly a gift, and so are our children.  May we all strive to be a little better, and work a little harder to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives!

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mind

It always amuses me at the slight differences in words used in England.  Yes we both speak English, but they use some words in a much different context than we would use here in the United States.  I even laughed every time I logged into Facebook...it wanted to know if I wanted to participate in translating FB into English (UK). 

Anyhow, one of the words that always gets me is MIND.  Here when I think of using the word 'mind,' it would be to tell my children that if they don't listen or 'mind' me then then they can get in trouble.  It is a word that basically to me means authority.  So when I continued to see this all around London...it just makes me laugh.
I would see it and immediately make me think that they feel like the child should be in charge and telling me what to do...not me.  Although I know that it really meant to "Watch your Child!"  and that is the difference.  Instead of saying 'watch' they say 'mind'...as in "Mind the Gap."

The other things the kids got a kick out of were

chips = french fries
nappy = diaper
lift = elevator
buggy or pushchair/cart = stroller
pounds & pence = dollars & cents
bobby = policeman

Do you know any more??

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Travel Log

I kinda laugh and roll my eyes when Shawn says he doesn't travel much for work.  I know he is comparing himself to the sales guys who are out of town for 5 days a week, every week...but when you compare it to most people...he still travels (atlease a couple days out of the month).  Now I am not complaining.  He has a great job, that of which I am thankful for.  I can handle it when he is gone, but it doesn't negate the fact that I still miss him.  Every so often we get the opportunity to 'tag a long' on his business trips. 

At the beginning of March, I got a call from him while he was at work.  They were setting up a training class in London, and wanted Shawn to be a part of it.  He wanted to know if I wanted to come and bring the kids.  The wheels started going, and we figured out how we could make it possible.  Between Shawn's job and my job with the airlines our kids have been blessed to go many places...and this was no different.

Shawn had a conference he was attending in Dallas.  He left on Sunday, Apr. 11.  Our plan was to meet him on Wednesday, and then fly out of Dallas on Thursday to London.  Plans changed when I called to list us on our flight (oh the joys of standby)...the flight we were hoping to leave on was overbooked and the chances of all 5 of us to get on the flight were not good.  Wednesday looked better so we decided to shoot for that and see what happens....little did we know what lie ahead. 

On Tuesday I got our bags packed, picked Caden up from school, and headed straight to the airport!  We arrived in Dallas that night, and met up with Daddy.  In the morning Shawn went to the remaining part of the conference while we hung out at the hotel.  We even were able to get some lunch with our old friend Lisa.  I hadn't seen her in forever.  It was great to catch up, and see her new little baby, Noah. 
Soon we were off to the airport yet again to see if we could get ourselves to London.  At ticketing, the agent told us it looked okay.  It was going to be tight, but we may be able to get on.  So we checked our bags, and had high hopes as we headed to the gate.  Our hopes were deflated when they paged our name only to tell us that there was no chance we would get on the 7:35pm flight. 

My mind started to reel.  I was bummed.  I packed our kids up and flew all the way to Dallas, and now I am going to have to turn around and go home.  My plans of seeing my kids playing in London were gone.  I now had wished that I would have just stayed home.  Yet we waited to see if the inevitable would happen.  Boarding came and went, and we were left at the gate.  Luckily there was a flight at 9:05pm...our last chance to get there.  It still looked bad, but we hoped against hope. 

I began following the two little ones as they ran back and forth the 'moving walkways.'  My eyes kept wandering over to the gate hoping to see our names would be 'cleared.'  Slowly one by one...IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!  We were so happy!  We would get to London after all! 

They started boarding, and shortly after they made an announcement.  A volcano had just erupted in Iceland, and they would have to suspend boarding until they were sure it was safe to travel.  Soon they started boarding again...then stopped it again....and finally they were sure we could go, and boarded the whole plane. 

I sat down in my seat, and let out a sigh of relief. 

We actually we made it! 

I was so glad!  The flight went wonderfully. Thomas slept almost the entire time!!

Then we landed...they shut down the airport indefinitely.
That was when I thought to myself...What in the world did we get ourselves into!!

Our family seems to be traveling alot lately.  I figured that I would devote Tuesdays to share our Travel-Log.  If you would like to join along feel free!!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

New Way to Pay for Crafty Goodness!!


So my husband being the tech man that he is....set us up with a Google checkout!

Now you can put in an order with a CREDIT CARD right HERE!!

The only catch is that we have to add $1 processing fee for each item.

When you go to check out it will be listed as a shipping charge.

So if you buy 5 items it will be additional $5.00.

Please remember that we will still accept cash or check if you prefer to pay us that way. Hopefully this won't be too much of a problem...we just wanted to offer an easier way to get your order into us!

We also are EXTENDING the date for your orders until FRIDAY, MARCH 19TH...but from now on if you plan on writing a check make sure it is payable to me since Anna will be out of town until Craft night.

Unfortunately you will no longer be able to order the Swarvosky Necklace or Scrabble Tile necklaces since they need to order their products online, and give time for shipping. Everything thing that can still be ordered is listed below!
*****Edited to add: I have spoke with Merri and you can STILL order the Scrabble Tile Necklaces after all!!! Yay!*****
Let me know if you have any other questions!

You can go to the Crafty Goodness Blog to see pictures of all the fun projects

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WW: I promise we had fun

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Let's Play Music

Last year I started Caden in a program called "Let's Play Music."
It is one of the best musical programs for children.
I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE it.
It is such a great foundation builder for piano playing.
They actually did a segment on the program on the news.
My cousin, Jenny, was able to have them come out and interview the founder.


*I tried to embed the video, but it isn't working! You can view it on their blog! It will give you a little insight into what the program is really about!*

It is a 3 year program, and by then end the children are transposing, and composing their own music! So if you are looking for something for your little one...check them out. I have a link to their site on my side bar. There are teachers all around the United States...so you can see if there is one by you!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday's Story - Thomas Dean

Our lives are filled with events.
Some events are bigger than others.
Some teach us lessons.
Some are Joyful.
Some bring tears.
Through each of them my hope is that we learn and grow from them.
It is these events, both big and small, that make us who we are today.
They are the 'stories' of our lives.
Our stories need to be told.


After I had Sydney, alot of people would make the comment, "You have one of each! Now you can be done!" I would smile, and think...I guess it could be possible, but I knew there were still more waiting to join our family.

At the beginning of the year of 2007, I knew it was time. We started down the road, and waited month after month. I was lucky, and it only took about 6 months. The weekend after July 4th we found out we would be having another baby.

My thoughts around this pregnancy were much different this time around. With my first, I was very anxious. I couldn't wait to find out what I was having so I could start getting everything ready. With my second, I was itching to find out if I would get to add some pink to my house. My 18th week couldn't come fast enough because "I HAD TO KNOW!" When I found out I was prego with this baby...I decided to NOT find out! I am usually not really into surprises (as a kid I would carefully untape my Christmas presents to see what they were and then wrap them up and act surprised on Christmas day), but I relished in the fact that I didn't know what I was having. If Shawn would let me...I would totally do it again.

Having this baby was different too...because I was indecisive we ended up having a somewhat spontaneous induction. I had never been induced before, and the thought really frightened me. Luckily everything went smoothly with no complications.

Caden helped us to name our little Thomas Dean. We had our boy names down to either William or Thomas. Caden chose "Thomas". I don't know if it is because he liked Thomas the Train or just liked the name better....probably it had to do more with the train. It also turned out to be right around the time Thomas S. Monson was sustained the new prophet of our church. Either way, Thomas totally suits our little man. Dean is after my Dad's Dad. He passed away before I was ever born, but I wanted to honor him in some way.
As I sat in that hospital holding my little baby boy...I couldn't be happier. He was beautiful, and perfect in every way. I marveled about the fact that I had been through this 2 other times. How each birth was totally unique from each other. Yet each of them are mine...at least for a time. I now had a new little one to take care of. To love. To cherish. Children are such a miracle.

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

730 Days

It is crazy to think that I have had this little guy in my life for a whole 730 days!

For all you non Math whizzes out there...it has been 2 years.

(Saying 730 days just makes it seem longer)

We plan on celebrating with extended family tomorrow evening.

Today our little family will shower him with attention and love.

Tomorrow I will reflect on how he came to be in my new segment
Feel free to join in with me.

It doesn't have to be a birth story.

Just a moment in your life that has had impact either for good or bad.

I can't wait to curl up and read about your stories!

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Crafty Goodness!!

I can't believe we are getting ready for another fun filled night!
Mark your calendar for March 26th!
We will be having a Soup or Salad Potluck
Orders and money need to be in by March 12th
Go over to our new "Crafty Goodness" Blog & check it out!

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday's Story

Our lives are filled with events.

Some events are bigger than others.

Some teach us lessons.

Some are Joyful.

Some bring tears.

Through each of them my hope is that we learn and grow from them.

It is these events, both big and small, that make us who we are today.

They are the 'stories' of our lives.

Our stories need to be told.

I decided to start a segment on my blog called "Sunday's Story."
Each Sunday I will post a 'story' about something that has happened in my life. This is just me trying to document pivitol moments in my life, but hopefully it will be interesting for you too. I would love if you joined in along with me...so I can get to know you better. Just grab the picture, and post it on your blog. Be sure to leave a comment so I can come read too! Can't wait to hear all of your stories!
Start thinking of what you would like to share...I already know what I will be writing about. It might just have to do with a little man that came into my life 2 years ago. "See" you on Sunday!

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