Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Kyson has been talking about Halloween for about 2 months now, and the day finally came.  When we looked for costumes, it was easy for Kodi.  We knew any princess would work, but Aurora is her favorite right now.  When they had an Aurora costume, it was that easy.  Kyson, on the other hand, wanted to be Pablo from Backyardigans.  He's a little penguin and I knew the costume would be impossible.  After screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, he decided he wanted to be Optimus.  I told him that was fine, but he was Optimus last year and he'd need to use that costume.  He didn't like that either.  Finally, I took him to the store and showed him Batman, Darth Vader, and Spiderman in hopes that one of those costumes would suffice.  He chose Spiderman and was happy with his decision ever since.

On Halloween night, normally we go to my sister's for chili before we start the evening festivities.  Because Bill is working in Idaho, she went to him this year.  There is no need for her to stick around when her kids don't trick-or-treat anymore.  I decided to invite my parents over for taco soup, and that way we wouldn't need to take an extra trip to my parents' house.

When I got home from work, I hurried and made the soup, then we got ready to go to Carol and Errol's.  Unfortunately, Kodi had already ripped her costume in two places - Emergency Wardrobe Malfunction!!!  I about freaked out, knowing that we had limited time.  So, we went to Carol and Errol's as planned, and I took Kodi's costume as soon as we arrived.  She got to mingle with the grandparents in a pull-up, and she wasn't happy about it.  I raced over to my parents where my mom performed an emergency fix and we were back in business.  We had a little more time with the Bodily's before we had to race home to eat.  Carol and Errol gave Kodi a bunch of Barbie Disney princesses and she was in 7th heaven.  Errol was a great sport and put on a coat and hat, and made mustaches with combs.  Kyson thought it was great.  I hated to cut the trip short, but we had more to do.

My parents came for soup, we talked for a short time, and then the Holts were ready for trick-or-treating.  This year, I went with the kids and Kris stayed and handed out candy.  I really enjoyed taking them around.  I got to see so many people in the neighborhood and figure out where people lived.  I had to run home twice though.  The first was to get jackets when it started getting chili, and the second was to get some better shoes and tights for Kodi.  Normally, running isn't a big deal, but since my accident, I haven't been able to do much and the little running that I did was not a good idea.  I was feeling its effects pretty badly.  Both Kyson and Kodi were ready to go home a lot sooner than I was, but I didn't fight them about it - it's their loss.

We went back to the house and relaxed a little as the crowds started to dwindle.  After we turned off our porch light, we did the math.  We had about 300 trick-or-treaters this year.  A little higher than average, but we live in a neighborhood of kids - you plan for it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Car Accident

Every morning I wake the kids early, get them ready, and bring them to work with me until Kris gets off work.  We've had this routine since they were born and never had any problems, until this morning.  While driving to work on October 24, I was rear-ended at a stoplight.  This accident scared me a little.

I was in my compact car with my children in the back, and I was hit from behind in the lane closest to the left-hand turn lane.  The girl that hit me was in a Ford Explorer, which is a much bigger vehicle than mine and I couldn't see around her to pull over to the side of the road - we did have to cross three lanes of traffic to do it.  She pulled ahead of me and I followed her.  When we both stopped, I turned off my lights and started looking for my glasses that had been knocked off and I couldn't find them anywhere.  Suddenly, the girl takes off and turns right when the light turned green.  I didn't know what she was doing and I frantically tried to follow her, but couldn't see anything.  It was dark, and I didn't have my glasses.  I nearly hit a sign trying to follow her, and then something even worse caught my attention as I was turning - there was a pedestrian on the crosswalk.  I didn't see them until I was next to them.  I'm so grateful I didn't hit either of those, especially the pedestrian.  We stopped again at the next light, but when it turned green she kept going.  At this point, I had just found my glasses and I was frantically trying to memorize her license plate number, for fear that she was trying to do a hit and run.  I flashed my lights at her and honked my horn, and eventually she pulled into a parking lot.

When we get out of the car, both kids were crying and my neck already started hurting.  The girl that got out of the car looked incredibly young, and I discovered she was only 18 when I got her information.  I strongly believe she was texting.  She couldn't have hit me as hard as she did if she was paying attention.

I went to work, but was hurting pretty badly, and had to go home by the time my second job came around.  I was in pain and couldn't move.  Kodi was acting extremely tired, she kept complaining that she was cold, she wouldn't eat, and she was extremely whiny.  When I looked up the symptoms, she seemed to be exhibiting the symptoms of a minor concussion, but because she had slept most of the day, which was unusual, I didn't bother taking her tot he doctor.  There is nothing they could do for her anyway.

The next morning, Kodi was still whiny, and Kyson was complaining that his legs hurt and his body hurt.  I took both kids with me to the chiropractor to get looked at.  Kodi wouldn't cooperate, Kyson had some minor whiplash, and I had moderate to severe whiplash.  They estimate it should take 3-6 months before I feel like I did before the accident.

I knew my body would heal, but I was extremely concerned about my car.  The bumper was in two pieces, my trunk wouldn't shut, and the frame was bent.  I took it for an estimate, but have to wait to hear back from the insurance company about what they think.  This has been an exhausting event for me.  I've spent every spare moment the last few days either on the phone or with the doctor.  I don't feel well, but I have to get my work done.  I'm afraid in for a long haul of crap.  I hope something good comes out of this.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Carving

After visiting the pumpkin patch, we decided to carve the pumpkins on a weekend.  Because weekdays are so busy, a weekend was really our only option and the weekends were running out quickly before Halloween.  The little time caused us to choose a time that was probably not the most convenient - we did it before church on a Sunday.  Now normally, that wouldn't be a big deal, but you never know how long it will take to carve pumpkins, and the kids wanted to use paint instead of carve theirs.  That was a one-time thing.  I will never do that again.

I tried to take pictures, but I was so consumed with trying to keep the paint off their clothes and off the carpet that I couldn't focus.  Both of the kids got paint on their clothes that will not come off.  It makes me sad because Kodi was wearing her princess pajamas she got for her birthday and now they have permanent blue paint on them.

Kris and I carved our pumpkins and even after those were done, I didn't remember to take pictures of the final products.  I was so rushed to clean everything up and get ready for church that it slipped my mind.  I remembered while we were at church, but forgot by the time we got back.  So basically, we carved some pumpkins, painted some pumpkins and I have nothing to show you what they all looked like.  I'll try harder next time.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

Last year was the first time we went to a pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins.  It was such a great experience for us that we decided this will become a yearly family tradition.  The Patch we go to is off 11800 South and is a farmer's property that he lets everyone come on.  This year we were able to go on a hay ride and the ride takes you through their land and around the house.  Someone on the ride said that this whole pumpkin patch thing started years ago when they were trying to save money to pay for a mission for their kids.  It has now become a huge thing and people continue to come.  It feels good helping out the local farmers with their finances, especially when they do some much to entertain the kids.

Kyson loved the corn maze this year.  There was one point where the kids ran off and were in the maze by themselves.  Kris hid and scared them and the screams were great.  They were fun screams and not "I'm so scared, I'm going to kill you" screams.  The farmers bring out old tractors and allow customers to take pictures with them, and they set up other places for pictures.  It's a photographers dream.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities around us to have memorable experiences as a family.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Pool

Even though we have a membership to the Rec Center, we don't get to the pool as often as I'd like.  I was able to take the kids the other day though when I had a few days off for UEA.  This is the first time I've had UEA off, because I work at a private school.  I loved having the extra time to play with the kids, go to Kyson's football clinic for the first time, and just not be so stressed all the time with work.  I truly look forward to the day when I'll be able to work one job and have more time with the family.

At the pool, Kyson is really improving with his comfort level in the water.  He'll go into deeper water and can bob himself where he needs to go.  He can't swim still, but he does a great job of moving around in water safely.  Kodi is getting more and more comfortable with the water as well.  Sometimes she's a little too comfortable and will jump in the water even when I'm not standing there ready to catch her.  She's done it so much with me that she doesn't understand why it would be any different without me.  I won't let her get more than arms distance away from me. The kids truly love going swimming.  I wish I could take them more often.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Football Clinic

As I mentioned last month, Kyson is participating in sports clinics to see if if enjoys a sport or not.  He did t-ball last month, which seemed to bore him, and this month he did football.  Football is better for him because he is able to run around and dive into the in-zone on a mat.  He doesn't like waiting for his turn and he still has a hard time following instructions.  He's a very "free spirit" who wants to do what he wants, and he wants to do it his way.  I'm not sure how to solve this problem except to continue to hold boundaries.  He's so easily angered and then he quits as well.  I'm hoping with a little maturity, he'll outgrow this childish response.

The football part of it, however, he did very well.  He could run well with the ball, he would hit the dummies as he ran by them, and he loved jumping in for a touchdown.  If Josh weren't one of the people running this clinic, I'm not sure what we'd do.  Josh helps keep him in line and keeps him going when he shuts down.  I'm so thankful for him - he's wonderful with Kyson and the kids adore him.  We've signed him up for basketball with his friend Parker for December.  I really hope that he'll learn how to work as a team.  Right now, he just doesn't get it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The High-Mile Club

In October of 2000, I returned from my mission and bought a car within a month.  I found this little 1997 Ford Escort with 47,000 miles on it and I bought it for $4,700.  I thought it was a great buy, but I didn't know how great it would be.  In the 12 years that I have owned this car, I have had it in for repairs twice, been in one car accident (which wasn't my fault) and total have spent very little money on it over-all.  I recently passed the 200,000 mile mark and had to make sure I took my camera to work to catch its glory.  This car has been a wonderful purchase and I've had it longer than I've known my husband - we have quite the bond.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Getaway

Kris and I have been married for 11 years, had children in the picture for 5 years, and in that time, we've never gone away just the two of us to enjoy one another's company.  We've always gone away with family or had the kids with us.  This year for our anniversary, I surprised Kris with a weekend getaway to Cedar City.  While I know Cedar City isn't an exotic place, I didn't care where we went, only that we had some time together.
 I bought the tickets for everything in February and I had arranged for my sister to take the kids one night and my parents to take the kids another night.  We planned to leave on Friday when Kris got off work and return on Sunday afternoon.  Because my mom was in the accident and unable to work, she was looking more and more like she couldn't do it.  I had asked Carol and Errol if they could be our potential subs, but they hadn't been feeling well and weren't able to take on a commitment like that.  I had thought about my sister, but she had to work on Saturday and wouldn't be able to take the extra day.  I thought about our friends, the Holts, but hadn't asked yet.  At that point, my sister was my saving grace and the only one who I thought could help us out.

A week before we were scheduled to leave, my sister called.  She had a surgery in February and got a blood clot as a result.  She finally found answers about her leg and that answer was surgery.  The blood clot was 13 inches long and if they didn't operate, they said she'd be dead in 30 days.  She needed to go in for surgery immediately and could not help by watching the kids.

At this point, I felt so bad for my sister and for myself.  I cried and felt completely defeated.  I figured at this point, the trip was off and I wouldn't be able to spend time with Kris.  That evening, my parents left me a message asking me to come by their house on the way home from work.  I did, and my father said he was going to step up and take on the responsibility of watching the kids for both days.  I was so grateful and relieved  but felt guilty even allowing it.  My parents insisted and I gratefully accepted.

Wednesday, 2 days before we were to leave, Kyson started throwing up.  He was throwing up into Thursday morning, but was able to keep food down for the 24 hours before we left and I hoped all would be well.  I warned my parents, but admitted that he seemed fine.  We sent him to school on Friday and prayed all would be well.  Because Murphy's Law seemed bent set against us going, the only other fear I had at this point was a car accident.

We weren't able to leave Friday morning as hoped.  Too many things weren't working in our favor and we weren't able to get on the road until nearly 1:00 in the afternoon.  Once we got in the car and were on our way, we were just so grateful, we didn't care how late it was.  We were going to be away for two days and were ecstatic.

We arrived in Cedar City just in time to see Taken 2 and have a nice dinner at Wingers before we checked into the hotel.  The hotel was amazing and that night we went to the hot tub and relaxed.  It was so wonderful and so needed after 5 years of no opportunity to just be together.  The next morning we had a hot breakfast and decided to adventure out on our own, once again, something we had never done before.  We decided to go to Kolob Canyon and do a little hiking.  The weather was beautiful and we wanted to take advantage of it.  Kolob is very small and there was only one real hike that we could go on.  We walked the path and took pictures when we could.  There were some nice people who offered to take pictures for us as well.

The day was still young when we had done all we could in Kolob, so we decided to venture down to Zions National Park.  The drive was nice, but getting into the park was crazy.  It was so crowded that it was a wait just to get into the park, then we had to pray to find a parking spot.  Luck would have it that we did.  Maybe we payed our dues before we left so the Lord was making it up to us then.  We rode the shuttle, looked at the sites and did two small hikes before we decided we needed to get back.  It was a beautiful day of nature and company.

That evening, we went to dinner and a play with the Utah Shakespeare Festival.  I was so excited to show Kris the area of where I have gone every summer for the past 7 years when I chaperon the Shakespeare trip for La Europa.  We saw Stones in his Pockets starring the two artistic directors.  I thought it was a comedy when I purchased the tickets, but it was a drama so I was a bit disappointed.  They did a phenomenal job, but I wanted to show Kris a comedy.  Kris didn't care.  He loved it and thought it was well done.

The next morning, our last, we planned to have a leisurely breakfast and slowly make our way out of town.  We got a phone call that morning that Kodi had been throwing up all night and my mom started throwing up that morning.  Our vacation was over and the stress set in.  We quickly got ready to go, filled up, skipped lunch, and drove straight through.  When we arrived at my parents, Kodi was sound asleep and we didn't want to disturb her, so we took Kyson to McDonalds since we hadn't eaten either.

I asked my father how it all went and he said that he'd rather be back in Vietnam than go through that again.  I'm grateful that they were able to help, but I felt so bad that my mom got sick and my dad was so miserable.  I loved being away and feeling such freedom, but I don't think we'll ever be able to do that again.