About Me

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I am a Christian. I am a loving wife to my Army-National-Guard-Recruiter-Husband of 15 years. I am a stay-at-home-mother to our four handsome sons. I am a photographer. My blog is about as erratic, eclectic and random as I am, painted with rainbows of photos and words that are hills and valleys you travel; so lovely sometimes that they hurt you. These are the stories of how far we've come in the last 15 years as Christians, as a family and as individuals.

Friday, December 26, 2008

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We had a Wii Christmas this year! It was great! Even I got in to playing the games, which I never do... not one for video games. There aren't many pics of me or Brad, because when we were playing, we were playing each other!

Hayden's two favorite gifts were his new recliner and his Nutcracker!

He even shared his BINKY!

There aren't too many pictures of the "Band" cause we were all part of it! Let me just say,
"Rock Band ROCKS!" Hayden actually took this picture of me playing guitar.

After spending the majority of the day getting to level VII as a band, we turned it off and put in the sports games, which we all thought would be lame but ended up getting totally hooked!

I'm good at bowling! My highest score (so far) is 183!

Garrett is second best at bowling!

The Happy Dance!

Guess what we are doing today?... That's right! Playing Wii! Have a great day everyone! I can't remember the last time the whole family had this much fun together!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

October 6, 2008 Tristen stayed home from school, sick. I called his pediatrician and they were able to squeeze us in for an appointment so we began getting dressed and ready. My friend, Tima, came over to stay with Hayden while I took Tristen to the doctor but while I was in my room getting dressed, Hayden was “tightrope walking” on the wood frame at the foot of my bed (something he’s done a million times before) but after losing his balance, fell off! Our bed sits higher from the ground than your average bed and we have hard wood floors in the bedrooms. He started crying and complaining that his arm hurt (he was wearing long sleeves) so I asked him if he wanted me to take his shirt off to check his arm and he screamed, “No!” He told Tima he needed the doctor too so she suggested that we all go together. I took her advice and after Dr. Brown examined Tristen, who turned out to have nothing more than a cold, (Hayden was still crying) he asked what was wrong with baby brother. I explained to him what had happened and I attempted to take his shirt off so the doc could take a look but before I could get it completely off Tima, Dr. Brown, Tristen and I, in unison, gasped! His elbow was broken FOR SURE! The bone was protruding from the back of his little arm and the doctor recommended that I take him to the emergency room at the hospital immediately!

you can't even tell he's in pain with that smile!

Now that we knew his arm was broken, I didn’t try so hard to maneuver it into his car seat, like before, I asked Tima to drive as I sat in the back by him practically holding him in his car seat. Luckily the hospital wasn’t too far away, we made it in and thankfully there weren’t many people in the waiting room. We got called back almost right away, they took X-rays and discovered that Hayden’s arm was broken in such a way that he’d need surgery immediately but there was no pediatric orthopedic surgeon at this hospital! Tima and I had a whole 10 minutes to figure out what to do before they had Hayden and me in an ambulance on our way down the hill (an hour or so drive) to Arrowhead Hospital. Tima drove my car to pick up her kids and drop them off at home (they are older) then she went to the school to get mine and drove them home and fed them and stayed with them over night. OH! Yeah, as luck would have it, Brad was in Utah for WLC (Warriors Training Course) and wouldn’t be home until October 18!

While at Arrowhead hospital, we were taken in through the ER but were basically ignored (although there were only 2 other people in the rooms) for 4 hours! Hayden was sleeping at this point and St. Mary’s Hospital had wrapped his arm in a temporary cast so I just kicked back and tried to relax but enough became enough when Hayden woke up crying and in pain and the doctors and nurses, just feet away from our curtain, continued to ignore our presence. I got up to speak to someone about it and they told me that the Peds Ortho was on her way! To top that she wasn’t even there (after 4 hours) the ER doc took a look at his X-rays and said it did NOT look like he needed surgery and then proceeded to bash St. Mary’s for sending us down in the first place! For another hour I listened to the doctors and nurses complain about every case that crossed their desks not believing that “these people” don’t seem to understand the definition of EMERGENCY. I’d had enough and was about to give them a piece of my mind when the Peds Ortho surgeon came in to talk to me. She said they were going to give Hayden Tylenol for his pain and put him under so they could “manipulate” the arm… no surgery! I was scared and just kept praying that they know what they were doing. Two hours after standing in the hallway, crying, scared and alone, the doctors called me in to tell me that the “manipulation” didn’t work and they were going to temporarily cast it again and send us home (dude! We had to find our own way home!) and we needed to call in the morning to schedule an outpatient appointment for his surgery (that he didn’t need). As we waited for my neighbor, Nanny Rafa, to come pick us up I realized I hadn’t eaten a thing ALL DAY and it was nearly the next day already; I text them to pick up some food for me on the way so we didn’t have to make any stops with Hayden.

The next morning I awoke to a message on my machine telling me to rush Hayden to Arrowhead because they needed to expedite his surgery! That was scary! Tima had stayed the night at my place and realized she’d have to step in for me once again but after dropping the older boys off at school, she decided to come with me because I did not want to be alone. We got down to Arrowhead Hospital and had to register first, well, there was a problem with our insurance (yeah right! Military insurance covers 100% of emergencies but for some reason they wouldn’t cover the surgery?) I asked why and the told me, if I had been admitted through the ER it would be covered but they sent me home! AGH! I went ‘round and ‘round with this lady before calling the pediatrician and he asked why the hell I was at a county hospital if I had such great medical coverage! I didn’t even know I was at a county hospital! I just went where they took me! He told me to run, not walk, out of there and take Hayden to Loma Linda Children’s University Hospital ER. So Tima and I got directions, told the lady in front of us off and left, but not before I had gotten so upset over Hayden not being able to eat anything for these two days due to the medication to put him under during the surgery… I was so mad, scared and hungry that I threw up! What a horrible experience! This was about the time I threw my phone at Tima and told her "now you can call my Mom!" (who had already told me she was hopping the next plane out, but I told her not to).

Nana to the rescue!....

We made it to Loma Linda and was taken right in through the ER and treated like royalty! PRAISE GOD! Hayden had his surgery there that night around 10:40 PM, was out by 12:30AM October 8. Tima had gone home to get the kids from school and stay at my house again. Hayden had to spend 2 hours or so in recovery and then they put us in a room. We were treated well and released by 11:00 AM. Tima came to get us and we barely made it home in time to pick the others up from school. To top everything off, it was Parent/Teacher conference week at school so minimum day all week! Anyways, here are some pictures to enjoy after reading this LONG story! Thanks for sticking around.

Doctor Checking it out....

Hayden checking it out....

they inserted three pins into his elbow....

The pins went all the way through his arm!....

He just watched everything the doctor did! Future Doctor?

Finger cuffs held his arm at a 90* angle so the doctor could put the full cast on.....

Receiving some TLC from his Nana

Ceremonial Signing of the cast! The brothers got to start it.....

Daddy made it home before the cast was put on, they had to keep a temporary soft cast on due to the swelling....

Even Tima got to sign the cast!....
When most people think of California, they think, sun, sand, beaches, movie stars... well, these are the people who have visited or never been to California, right? Although living in the desert has it's challenges, God blessed us with a long-awaited treat last week.

I was looking forward to having at least 4 more days of peace and quiet around the house (before school let out for the Holidays) while I got the place suitable for the Christmas company we're not having... sometimes it's nice to clean the house "for company" and be able to enjoy it because no one came over to mess the place up then leave! Anyway, the peace and quiet didn't happen, instead we woke up Tuesday to this:

This was my backyard at 5:00 AM! The schools remained open for a minimum day schedule but I didn't make the boys go, the last time it snowed here it didn't last and I wanted them to get as much enjoyment out of this as possible! I even went out and played in the snow like a little child! It was so great!

My front yard before the kids and I crushed through the perfectly smooth, infant snow.

This just had to be done! And 10 minutes later it was as if I'd never written in the snow, it was pouring down on us!






Even in it's demise it's beautiful!

God is the ultimate artist!

This was taken from my phone (view from my bedroom window) when I woke up Wednesday morning thinking the snow would've all melted away! Very pleased was I!

We just had our front yard landscaped and planted some Photinia Fraseries, although gorgeous with the snow, I hope my baby plant can survive this cold!

I just can't help myself!

Ice cycles are always superb
I just can't get over how much snow we got! And not only did it stick to the ground, it stuck around!

What's snow without an old fashioned snowball fight?!

My only girl, Sadie, isn't she stunning?

Isn't this pile of wet snow clothes just the sweetest sight?

Attempt #1 on day 1 at a snowman... I love how Garret is trying to eat the freshly falling snow and Tristen looks like he just can't wait to get the picture over with so he can run off and play some more!

Attempt #2 on day 2 was much nicer... cleaner, with more detail and we made it near the house so I could set the camera timer and be in the photo too!

Seth took this picture of me warming up by the fire, they do that sometimes, just grab my camera and go to town! I think it's hilarious and sometimes they capture unimaginable stuff! Either way, I like to have my picture taken every once in a while candidly.

Of course you can't go out in the snow and play without coming in to warm up by a roaring fire and have hot cocoa with marshmellows and stir it with candy canes!