Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Another Week Rolls By...

We are smack into basketball now.  Most nights we have a quick dinner at 4:30, head up to the school and usually not home until 9:30.  It's a long night.  Blake and Leah are both playing this year.  We start games next Wednesday.  Lucky us, our first one is a home game.  Friday was our annual chocolate making day with the in-laws.  Amber and her family were not feeling well.  Amber came for a bit until Myrna sent her home to rest.  I was a tad late and had to leave just before 6.  Lalainia also was not feeling well.  But Myrna, Rachel, and Lalainia got it all done.  It was long day for them.

We left early to help Dave set up for the Priest/Laurel Conference he was in charge of.  Saturday we left in the morning and went to the ski swap.  Blake had outgrown all his ski stuff.  We were lucky to find skis, boots, and snowpants for him.  Dave then went to the stake center and we headed to the last home football game.  It was an excellent game.  They won and are playing in provincials this weekend.  Dave said the whole conference was so good.  Speakers were excellent, food was good and plentiful, kids were great, helped clean up, and the D.J. for the dance was really fantastic.  Leah had really tried to be able to go, even tho she has 5 months til she is a Laurel. :)  So now that Dave has talked about it, she is so excited to go to next years. Sunday was church and the relaxing for us, but Dave had another stake meeting, so headed back to the stake center, (it is an hour away from us).  He had his meeting a little earlier than usual, so that was nice.  Then we started right back into late night basketball and early morning seminary again.  This is not a week for sleeping.  But it is fun. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Remebrance Long Weekend

Everyone had a long weekend.  Thursday both schools had their Remembrance Day programs.  Blake did an excellent job in the band.  He has learned the trumpet fast.  I really tried hard to get a picture of him playing.  :) 

Snapped a quick picture when they were all done.  I thought I had time to watch until after the minute of silence with Blake and rush up to Leah's.  But when I arrived at the high school they were cleaning up.  I missed it.  They ended 15 mins early then they had planned.

I picked up Leah and we went over to her first physio appointment.  It was all so fascinating I forgot to get pictures.  They did a lot of measuring of her movement and range of motion.  And the way he explained things was interesting.  Leah was given exercises to do at home.  Basically simple.  Blake was saying how easy it all was, until he tried it.  With proper form they are harder then they seem.  She has faithfully been doing them.  Friday Dave had off.  We decided to run up to see Cora.  We are not sure we will see her until after New Year and so we wanted to take advantage. We started early in the morning to have more time with her.  The roads were so bad.  First 1/3 was black ice and tons of cars in the ditch. Second 1/3 had not even been plowed, last 1/3 was dry and nice.

We all went to lunch, saw her church and institute building.  Meet a few friends, got her a few clothing items and then came back home.  It was an almost 10 drive to see her for about 4.  Totally worth it.  Saturday Dave and I went to the community Remembrance Day program.  Part of it was a song with slide presentation.  The song was  'Soldiers Cry' Very excellent. Definitively look up if you haven't seen.  Probably the most moving song I have ever heard for Remembrance Day.  After we rushed back and got dressed warm to watch football.

One more game for us to watch.  Sunday was wonderful.  Relaxing with no where to be and nothing we had to do.  Monday Blake and Leah were still off school.  Blake stayed home and drew for hours.  I took Leah over to go to school with Emily.  She showed up in time for lunch, then Emily is in a cosmetology class and so Leah got a scalp treatment and her hair done.

Emily sent me this picture.

The last two are from Leah.

Emily did a great job.  Leah's hair looked really cute.  She then stayed for part of gym class.  Had a blast.  She got to see a lot of her friends and meet some new people. That evening was dinner, FHE, and relax.  It is so nice to have a break from all the rushing around sometimes.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Halloween 2017

Another successful Halloween is behind us.  This year we had a few days of dress up.
Friday, Leah dressed up as a robber for her High School Monster Smash. 

That same night Cora and Maycie went as a ninja and pinata for their YSA dance.
After the dance they were asked to help finish filling a friends room with newspaper.  Absolutely full.  They had so much fun. 

Tuesday, actual Halloween, Blake was Jughead for his school party.  He kept explaining to all that no, he doesn't watch Riverdale, thinks that it is stupid, just Jughead from the original comics.  They had some fun activities at the school and a haunted house.  He said it was all kinda fun.  As soon as the kids got off their buses we headed to piano and then on to the Toone's.  We had a fast dinner, then Joe and Dave were off with Blake, Avery and Sophie for trick or treating.
Soon after they left, kids started arriving for Emily's party.  They all had a great time.  They watched a movie and went out to play some games in the dark.  Leah scared the boys and was proud of herself for that.  

After the games they came back in and just hung out and chatted until parents picked them up.  We did pretty good this year.  Got home a little after 11.  Emily had everyone bring some candy.  They just dumped it in the middle of the floor.  That is seriously all candy you see. It was a very successful, fun party.  
Cora sent us some pictures that night of her and Maycie at mission prep class.  Here is the picture and what she said about it.

On Facebook "Mission prep on Halloween didn’t stop this nice senior couple from doing their missionary work, they were an inspiration to us at institute. Bless Elder and Sister Calhoun on the rest of their mission."
And on Instagram "This is Elder and Sister Calhoun, they are our senior couple visiting Mission Prep today.  What cuties, this is their fourth mission and they are such an inspiration to the rest of us at Institute."
We were laughing so hard.  I sure miss her and her personality around everyday.  I am so glad she is loving YSA and her and Maycie do a lot of fun things.  When talking to her later she said that no on else dressed up for class, but they just owned it.  It was such a good costume that others were helping them up the stairs and into elevators.  I guess they really got into it.
Blake came home with 10lbs of candy, Joe weighed it.  It will certainly last him awhile.  He will bring out his bag after dinner and ask who wants what, and let us all pick a few treats. And he has been sending some in Dave's lunch. So that is it.  Another great Halloween.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Update

We have been through all of Leah's appointments.  Doctors are not to concerned about her cyst.  The way it looks they think she has had it if not always, but for years.  It is contained and not growing.  So we were on to the next problem.  End result is that she is very flexible, which means lose muscles, and she has high knee caps.  They sit about 3/4 higher than most people's.  This makes it hard for the  muscles to hold them in place and then add in the loose muscles and she has extreme movement and pain.  So we are doing physiotherapy.  LOTS of physio to hopefully strengthen it all up and hold the knee cap straight. Leah will need to do this probably forever. But no surgery and she has been given the go ahead for basketball, just in time to start tomorrow.

Cora has been offered a job at Chapters.  It is seasonal part-time and will end in January.  Then just a few days after she was offered a job at Olive Garden.  They said they did not have much and it would be part-time or less until January.  They are willing to work with her schedule at Chapters.  We are feeling blessed at how well it turned out and are very thankful.  My mom told Cora to not be to discouraged, maybe the Lord was giving her time to go to lots of activities and meet lots of people before she got busy working.  Last night, Cora said she thinks Grandma Smith was right.

We have had a fun last couple of weeks.  Abby returned from her mission in New Zealand.  On the Friday we went to drop in baptisms with Emily, and then headed out to my parents.

Saturday was their Super Saturday.  The theme was 'Love in a Jar'.  Of course everyone knows I am all about jars.  There were crafts, pie, salad, soap, and more.  All in a jar.  It was a really fun day.

Sunday Abby reported and gave a fabulous talk.  Cora was sad to miss it, but was not able to come down again.

Blake has wrapped up volleyball for the year.  The kid definitely has some talent in volleyball and I think we have convinced him to go up to the high school to try and play next year.  Great serves.


Levi invited Leah to come back to their stake dance last week.  It was held at the Barn Dance. She had already decided not to attend her's this month, so said sure.  She had the best time ever.  Got to know lots of people and made new friends.  Every so often, Levi would check back in with her and make sure she had someone to dance with and she was doing good.  She totally loved it.

We have had some very crazy winds the last few weeks.  The last one our little shed just could not take the beating any more.  We spent Saturday doing some clean up around the farm and our house. Leah went up to watch some friends play a volleyball game and then more clean up.




Dave's new calling as Stake YM president is going well.  Every meeting he is enjoying his councilors more and more.  They have lots of stuff coming up, including a 5 stake priest/laurel conference that they are in charge of.  This calling for sure takes up way more of his time.  He is gone a ton, but he makes time for his kids sports and the important things.  To be there for all of us.  He is a good man and handles it all well. Dave had a great teacher in his dad and has had lots of experience in YM's already.  He is going to be great in this calling.

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.