Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Kate was sick for Halloween and refused to dress up this year. It was awful. We borrowed this AWESOME costume from our friends. DORA! We thought that she would be thrilled, but she was definitely not! SO, around Christmas, she found the costumes that I was to return, and here's a few shots.

Look who I am!



I love this costume! Why didn't I wear if for Halloween?!?!

I should really try on Boot's costume too!

Yep, this one is comfy.

Oh no! It's Swiper the Fox! RUN!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


As I mentioned in the earlier post, Kate had a very busy month of February.

Her speech continued to worsen, which greatly concerned us. She only had 2 sessions left with the Infant/Toddler program before she turned 3. Molly, our speech therapist, did an evaluation on Tuesday the 16th with a student that lasted over an hour. Really, I wanted more than anything to tell her to just stop talking. (That is the last thing that you should do in that situation.)

Kate turned 3 years old this month! I remember her when she was born. She weighed in at 8 Lbs. 2 oz. and was my biggest baby. She was so very sweet and loved before she was born!

Now turning 3 I can't believe how big, yet small, she is. She had a family birthday party and really enjoyed opening presents and blowing out the candles. She was truly spoiled this year by cousins, Aunts and Uncles, and Grandmas and Grandpas.

Her birthday cake was made by mom with Valentine M&Ms. It was very simple, yet fun for her.

On Monday the 22nd, we had a meeting at Lincoln Early Childhood Center. They take children who qualify in several areas or are severe in one area. Molly's evaluation stated that Kate was considered 'severe' in the State of Idaho and would qualify for preschool and individual speech lab. This meant that preschool would be paid for and they would transport her as well on a bus. Such a blessing because she really needed the speech and social environment that they would provide.

Tuesday, the 23rd, we headed down to Utah for Kate's check with Dr. Finlayson. He has been the best doctor for us! Her problems had continued and persisted through all of the treatments we did. He wanted to replace the tubes and do a touch up on the sinus surgery that we did in May last year. I asked about taking out her tonsils. It was quite a unique conversation where I was able to remind that this would be surgery #5, she had just turned 3, and we were still having the same chronic infection. He listened and agreed that since she was 3, we should do it! Usually when we schedule surgery, we get to pick anytime available in the next 2 weeks or so. Because she had an infection, he wanted to do it that week, or we would have to put her on antibotics.

Wednesday, Kate started school. Here are pictures by the door getting ready to go to an early day of school. Kids that attend there have to have a full sized backpack. You'll notice that it is as big as she is. (Try finding a backpack at the end of February.)

I dropped her off and she seemed very hesitant. I know that she cried a little, but overall did very well. Her teachers this year were Miss Sally, Miss Lori, and Miss Tracy.

So Thursday night, we headed down with the whole family for Kate's surgery. We needed to be there at 6:15 am. The kids did not have school on Friday, so we decided to make a family trip out of it and leave the kids with Amy and Justin.

Unfortunately, the Utah Jolleys had strep throat and we knew that no one in the family could be exposed, so we went to our favorite hotel - the Crystal Inn.

We watched the Olympics (women's figure skating that night) and relaxed. On a side note, Olympics are my favorite and something that I truly enjoy. Kim Yu-na was amazing that night.

That morning, I got lost, but arrived in enough time to still do surgery. Brandon stayed at the hotel. He told me that surgery would be 45 minutes. The surgery center told me 1 hour. It took almost an hour and a half. Time passed so slowly and it really got to me that time. It was also hard because I was waiting by myself.

Dr. Finlayson told us that she did great and that her tonsils were so infected, pitted, and that they really needed to come out. It was great that we were able to have a doctor who listened to a mother's intuition. Road to recovery was filled with popsicles!

Pictures after surgery:, still recovering a week later:

Video of Kate showing where it hurts. You'll also notice how extremely skinny she is. We attribute that to all of the sickness, antibotics, and surgeries that she has gone through in such a short time. She has been gaining steadily since this surgery.


The month of February flew by for our family.

I continued to scorekeep for basketball for kids city ball.

My calling also allows me to visit wards during their ward conference. We visited the 2nd, 1st, and 10th ward that month, though I did not attend the 10th ward (single's ward.)

I had the opportunity to be Faith's room mother this year. It was really a lot of fun and didn't require that much work. Valentines Day I helped the kids do a matching game, but did not put them in straight rows. The kids enjoyed it and then got a small treat. I know that they also wrote letters to someone they loved, and enjoyed their treats. Most of the classes didn't have parties, but we were able to because of parent volunteers.

I also went to 'lotion training' in Salt Lake City for my other job. I work at Sunsations, which is a tanning salon, day spa, and med spa, a pretty unique facility for Pocatello. I enjoy my work so much. We received so many tanning lotion packets it was crazy. One of them, shown below, was Luminary (bottle retails at $120. Crazy, huh?)

Faith did her usual stuff. She is always the best helper and older sister. We love her so much!

Dawson continued to do his usual stuff too, which included these faces before church:

(He really enjoys church.)

I am going to post Kate separately. She had a very busy month!

All the kids participated in service club where we donate a flag to the scout troop in our neighborhood.

Then they played service bingo. We are so lucky that our kids get to give service to the community on a monthly basis.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


January was a great month for us. (This is going to be a long post - I apologize in advance.)

For starters, we were able to do a kick start on our emergency savings buy selling things that we didn't 'need.' Hard to do? Yes, but SO worth it. Then we started working on our first debt to pay off. And while money still does not grow on trees, we were definitely feeling like we got a raise! January 23rd we celebrate 30 days on the program!
I also helped put together the baptism preview fireside for our stake. Each year we learn something and add or take away. This year we had an activity days leader set up a table and a scout leader set up a table full of things that they have done. It was really fun to be able to visit with the children in our stake that will turn 8 this year. The baptisms each month are definitely a highlight of my calling and something that I enjoy going to each month.

Brandon worked throughout the month. He went to Animal Farm, a funny name for training where he learned how to splice fiber optics.
I worked and did a few basketball games. Visiting teaching was a huge highlight for me. It was all about Self Reliance. I printed off a planner for the year. (I am still using it.) The planner had space for to write goals for each area: knowledge, education, and literacy; manage money and resources wisely; spiritual strength; prepare for emergencies and eventualities; physical health; social well-being goals; and emotional well-being goals. Since I was so focused on debt, I had a lot to talk about.

Here is a quote from the lesson:
"Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems. Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur."

Faith continued in her piano lessons and excelling in school. She also had activity days. Faith asked Grandma Cindy and Grandma Kelly to come Grandparent's Night. They did a booklet of crossword puzzles in Mrs. Collett's classroom. Then Faith got to ask them about their favorite things, with pictures. For example, when Faith asked what Grandpa Kelly liked to do, he drew a bike. Grandma Cindy drew a grand piano for her hobby. Faith had such a good time, though Miss Kate had to tag along.

Dawson brought Grandma Kathy to Grandparents Night. Their night was based on a book "Harold and the Purple Crayon." The kids colored pictures with a purple crayon. (Dawson now informs me that he hates everything about this book, BTW.)

They concluded their night with juice and a crunch chocolate bar. (Dawson always remembers the most important stuff.)

Kate continued having sicknesses and was at the doctor a few times. She also continued with speech therapy, but started having quite a few disfluencies (meaning stuttering.) This is a problem that all of our children have had. It must be a genetic thing with our genes together. What are the odds?

The kids participated in service club. They went down to our favorite trainer Carol's place, James Barrett Pilates and learned about fitness. I was unable to come, but the kids really enjoyed it. If you want to watch the video, here is a link. Otherwise, here are a few pictures:

Warm up:

Yoga (one of Carol's favorites)

Finishing up:

I went to a baby shower for Tracy thrown by her mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

6 days later, my Mom, Robyn, and myself threw her a baby shower. We played a quick matching game on paper with items and candy bars. Then we had a quiz for Tracy where she had to answer newborn questions. If she got the answer wrong, she had to chew a piece of gum (the big kind.) It was shocking how much stuff you don't know. Right, Tracy?

Tracy and I and the pile of presents:

Robyn made these cute blue tissue balls for decorations.

Our desserts included homemade oreo cookies with blue frosting, snickerdoodle blondies, a new favorite recipe), regular and vanilla tootsie rolls (brown and blue), cinnamon rolls with blue frosting, and oreo dipped in white chocolate and sticks with blue frosting decorations as favors. It was amazing!