Saturday, October 14, 2017

Catch Up

Blake and Dave were so excited to finally get to attend the Priesthood Session together.  Waited 12 years for that. :)
There was a fundraiser for Blake's school to buy apples.  When ours came in we set up an apple pie making assembly line. We made 4 to freeze.  Did some apple sauce and have enjoyed many fresh apples.  Blake loves to peel apples on our peeler.

Leah made a beautiful pie.

One night before the football game, we had stopped by Toone's house for awhile.  Dave had a meeting at the church so we went to hang out.  Natalie did an impromptu photo shoot with Leah and Emily.  She is so good at taking photos.  These turned out so cute.

What cute cute girls.

Over the weekend, Dave set up a car washing station for the kids to get all our cars through.  It was a little cold, but they got them all done.  Cora was on the vacuum side of things, but I don't know what happened to that picture.

Wednesday night, Dave took Leah and Blake to the Imagine Dragons Concert.  It was Blake's first concert and it did not disappoint. He totally loved it.  They got home at 1:30 am. Leah did very well and was up on time for seminary the next morning.  Or really the same morning.

Friday Leah and I took off early to get her bone scan done. I was hoping to not have to take her out of school.  But then I was told it was a 4 hour appointment.  Turns out it was actually 4 1/2.  First they injected her with radio active fluid.  Then they took a few images as they watched it flow through her blood stream.  We then waited 2 hours for it to get moving everywhere in her body.  A few 30 min scans.  Leah said they strapped down her arms and tied her legs together.  Next they push this round cold scan thing right next to her face.  Once they are sure she could not move, the round scanner started moving.  It went up and down her body a few times, then spun as it went up and down, then her bed moved as it spun.  The first thing she said to me was, 'Mom, you would have never have been able to do that.  You would have been claustrophobic and got motion sickness.'  Lastly the did one final x-ray and we were able to go home.

Next week we meet with an orthopedic surgeon.  I am glad they are doing both knees at the same time with all these tests.  We were worried that we would get all done then start the process anew with the other one.  We have talked to all her teachers about missing so much school, they all seem pretty understanding and will be helpful in keeping her up to date.  Now we just wait to see what the next step is. 

Happy 18th Birthday

Cora came home again the weekend before her birthday.  It was Thanksgiving weekend.  It was a little weird not to have a big family get together, but we had fun anyways.  Since we knew we would not get to see her on her birthday we turned it into her birthday weekend instead.  My parents wanted to see Cora and came up to spent Saturday evening with us.  We had dinner and talked.  It was also our fast Sunday, so we ate a little early.  Sunday we had Myrna over and had a simple chicken dinner.  But a must for Cora's birthday was Angel Food Cake.

She had a few presents to open and we played lots of games all weekend.  Cora beat us at Clue a few times and nobody will ever beat Leah at Dutch Blitz.  It was a very fun, laughter, game, good food, filled weekend.  Cora's actual birthday was Thursday.  We called her and chatted that day.  It was a bit sad to not see her on her birthday.  But she got lots of nice birthday wishes from friends up there and family.

Cora is such a special girl.  We miss having her here all the time, but talk to her often.  She is still hard at work looking for a job.  Meeting lots of fun people and getting involved with everything she can.  Cora has even joined a swing dance class.  She is doing gymnastics, mission prep, and a church history class.  Absolutely loves both of the institute classes.  Cora and Maycie go on some fun adventures and are making the most of adulting.  She is doing great out on her own.  Happy 18th Birthday Cora!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pictures 2017

Cora came home for conference weekend.  She was going to come home Friday afternoon, but she ended up having a date and made it Saturday just after the second session started.  We had moved cows in the morning.  It went fairly well.  The last cow walked in the field at 9:42.  Perfect for a quick shower and ready for conference. This year we enjoyed watching the World Report as well.  We were all so excited to see Cora.  We watched the second session then just sat and talked as she told us story after story.  Sunday we went into the church and then changed and took a few pictures.  It was pretty cold for T-shirts, but I did not know when we would have another chance.  Cora has been working on editing a few for me.  The ones she has done look great.

It was very snowy Monday.  I was glad Cora was not travelling back that day.  Leah ended up waiting at the school for just over and hour.  Her bus was not running and I couldn't get up with my little car.  She got a ride home with Jared.  They both said it was a bit scary out.  By Tuesday at noon, everything had melted and Cora headed back.  It was great to see her and I was very glad I got some pictures.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome..... or perhaps not???

As everyone knows, Leah has some fun knee issues.  About three years ago we finally took her to a doctor to see what could be done.  At the time is was just her right knee.  We were informed that it was basically weak muscles under the knee cap.  Very common in teenage girls that grow fast and are active.  She was given a few exercises to do to strengthen the muscles and told that she would eventually grow out of it.  Fast forward 3 years, a lot of Advil, many knee braces (now for both knees) and 3 basketball seasons.  Last week the pain was so intense that I actually took her out of school and to a walk in clinic.  Here we finally got an x-ray.  We were then told that what Leah has is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.  It is just something that she was born with and will get to deal with for the rest of her life.  With very aggressive physio she can possibly keep the pain at bay.  She will always need her knee braces for sports, but with the physio she will hopefully still have knee function when she is 40.  A few days later the doctor called me back and said that after taking a closer look at the x-ray, they have discovered a cyst on her femur bone, just above the knee cap.  They think she still has the other, but we can not do physio yet.  The doctor was very concerned about the cyst popping.  Leah is being referred to an orthopedic surgeon at the Children's Hospital and we will go from there.  She is supposed to be on modified gym class and be careful.  So now we sit and wait.  Leah is concerned about basketball season starting soon and what will happen.  Dave and I are just glad that we finally seem to be starting to move forward.  A specialist to see her knees will be able to go more in-depth, and hopefully we will get some answers and some solutions.

Friday, September 15, 2017

A few thoughts...

A few weeks ago I got a text from a good friend asking me if I would mind praying for her dad.  Of course I would not mind.  I felt honored that she asked me.  We had heard rumors that this family didn't like Mormons much when we first moved in.  But slowly over the years we have built a nice relationship with them.  She kept me up to date on his progress and again text me shortly after he passed.  I have only met this man once and he was wonderful.  To be trusted by this friend and to have her confident in our prayers as well was a wonderful experience for our family. 

There have been many fires raging through B.C. this summer.  Last week it started moving close to where I grew up.  The loss and devastation for many is more than I can comprehend.  I keep trying to tell myself that if my house burnt down it is really just stuff.  But I haven't convinced myself yet.  I waited a long time for my home and I can't imagine starting over.  It is more than a house to us, it was a family project.  We sweat and worked and froze and sacrificed.  Every wall and floor we did with our hands. Since Tuesday, this picture has gone all over FaceBook and Instrgram.  It has taken me a few days to track down who it came from.  (I am a huge believer in giving photo credits, but I won't rant on about that today)  It was taken from a Savanna Norton in Cardston.

I love this picture.  It just embodies so much.  The smoke behind and the light of the temple.  What do I need to focus on?  What is most important in my life?  Even though things are tough and dark we have hope, we have light.  The fires are so destructive.  But from my far distance there is a beauty in the fire.  So many pictures I would have like to share here, but I couldn't find original source.  Raging towards me it would be terrifying, but looking at pictures I see the renewal that will come.  The land will renew itself.  There will be a raw beauty as it comes and refeshes and builds itself again. And we will get to witness it.  If I was an articulate person I could let you know all the emotion that I feel with this picture.  

Leah is in CALM right now.  Their assignment this week was to  find an apartment, build a grocery list, and a few other thing that they will need after they graduate.  She was in a partnership with a friend.  After about a 1/2 hour the friend said she was not finding anything.  Leah already had 4 places and her groceries done.  So they started talking about how Leah had found things so fast.  It was all through church sites.  They talked about how Cora already has a group of friends up there and things she is involved with.   The friend commented how her sister moved up and it took her 3 years to get to know people.  Then said convenient our church makes everything.  She was very impressed.

So with all these situation the last week and so much devastation around us, I have been extra thankful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I am so thankful for the knowledge of life after death I have and for the peace and comfort we have.  I can't imagine going through this life not knowing that my Savior is there for me and that he loves me. Through Him we get to renew ourselves, make ourselves better and become what He wants us to.  It was so much easier letting Cora go, knowing that she was moving in with good people and that she had an instant family and people to rely on.  She would have Home Teachers and friends that have the priesthood if she need anything.  Through hard times we can rely on our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  We have ward members and faith.   We know all will be well.  Look to the light!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Another School Year

Well it is back to another school year.  The days that Leah rides the bus in the morning it comes very early, and the other days, seminary is even earlier.  So I got one quick fantastic picture as the bus was pulling in the yard for Leah.  What a great first day picture.  (eye roll)
Leah is in grade 10 this year.  So far all is going well.  She said it really is not that different from junior high.  Just more people.  She is enjoying all her classes.  Blake is in Grade 7.  He did not enjoy going back the first two days, but is now having fun.  They both are loving band.  We talk to Cora a few times a day at least.  She is loving it.  Has had a few job interviews, we hope something pans out soon.  She has been very dedicated about looking.  Signed up for a gymnastics class and a mission prep class.  She said I should take more school photos and leave a big white screen for her with a sign that says 'photo not available'  Leah is looking forward to basketball starting.  She decided against drama.  The band teacher really wants her to take rock band because he knows she can sing. She said she would be willing to sing O Canada at assemblies and such but not interested in rock band.  Blake mentioned that he really does have more homework already.  He thought it would be just a little harder, but junior high is way more intense.  :)  But he really likes his teachers and is off to a good start I think.  So here we are for the 2017/2018 school year.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

And she is off....

It was finally time to take Cora to Edmonton.  I put it off as long as I could.  Dave and Blake went ahead of us in the Tahoe and Leah, Cora and I went in her car.  We had her drive so we knew she could go the distance and drive through all the traffic.  We got to her place a little after noon and started hauling things in.  Cora had never seen the place and didn't know what to expect.  Also it was a little smaller than I had remembered.
Leah colored on the way up to entertain herself.  Both the kids colored on the way home it was funny. I could tell Cora was a little down about the place.  There had been a girl in their room all summer and she had left a lot of stuff behind.  It was really messy.  And Maycie had gotten there the week before and had already cleaned up tons.  Can't imagine what they found.  We dropped her stuff, made up the bed and went to Galaxyland.  Thank goodness for Airmiles.  I couldn't believe how much stuff had gone up.  We did Galaxyland, Waterpark and 3 hotel nights all with Airmiles.  We would not have been able to do it otherwise.

Blake had really wanted to go back on Ropequest.  We didn't think we would be able to do that added expense.  He was so excited when we remembered that it had been moved inside Galaxyland and was part of the ticket.  They went all over that thing.

Leah was looking forward to the Giant Swing.

Cora was very determined that she was doing Mindbender this year.  They did a few other things as she worked up the nerve.  Blake was very unsure.  As he was sitting there I thought he was going to hyperventilate.  He had the biggest smile and thumbs up when he rode back in.  Cora could not believe it took her that long to get on it.  They rode it at least 10 times that day and really wanted to go back again.  Now that Blake is a little older, he enjoyed the space shot a lot more.  Also many rides on that one.

That night we dropped Cora off and went to our hotel.  I was a little sick inside, wondering how I could just leave her in a place she was so unhappy about.  I kept reminding myself that we had all felt really good about this place when we found it.  Unbeknownst to all of us, Cora, Dave and I had each spent a good portion of the night thinking about how we could make it better.  When we got back together the next morning we had a plan.  Dave and Blake got to work organizing some junk and hauling things out.  They moved the other girls stuff out of the way.  The Leah and I sat and talked to Cora until she was ready to go and cheered up.  We got the kitchen organized and helped Dave move stuff around.  We then headed to Ikea to get her a lot of organizing things, like desk and shelves.  She was feeling a lot more hopeful by the evening.  I had booked temple baptism and we went off to our appointment.  We were so glad Maycie decided to come with us.

It was a fun experience.  Very different than our temple.  You could tell that they don't do baptisms often.  Blake was the only male doing them (they put us in with a small group of RS sisters).  The guy in charge asked how many he could do.  I asked how many he needed done.  20 was the answer, but they found 5 more after.  He was so happy to do it all.  After the temple we grabbed Subway and dropped the girls back off.  Cora was more upbeat and ready to organize her things.  That night we were sleeping nicely and the fire alarm goes off.  At 3:45 a.m.  We snagged our phones and wallets and evacuated.  It was surprising how many just looked in the hall, not going anywhere.  We were out for about an hour.  The fire department determined it was a false alarm.  So we were able to go back in.  There were a lot of angry people the next morning.  Too bad, it was not their fault.  I was glad to know everything was working and if something did happen we would be safe.  

The next morning was some more organizing.  We loaded up the Tahoe with garbage and recycling that had just been thrown out of Cora's back door.  Dave took Cora driving around to find the recycle center and a few job places, grab a few things at Ikea they had forgot and just practiced driving around.  Blake, Leah and I went to the store to stock her up on groceries.

They found great hats while there.  We meet back and ate lunch at Cora's then off to the waterpark.  We had an extra free ticket, so Maycie came with us as well.  We stayed as late as we could and took the girls home after.  Thursday we slept in and had a leisurely breakfast. We went to Cora's to see how she had got all set up and say good-bye.  It is odd not having her here.  We talk to her lots and she is having a blast.  A little stressed about finding a job.  Keep her in your prayers, but she loves the YSA activities and is meeting tons of people.  She is happy and upbeat.  Quoting movies and sarcastic as ever.  So many great thing in store for her.  We miss her like crazy, but this is her next step and so far she is handling it amazingly.