Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blog Therapy

It has been a year since I started this blog. I haven't posted as much as I would have hoped and I've posted about things I've never dreamed I would. I am not really a writer, I never have been good at punctuation. I have all these thoughts in my head getting them all typed out in a way that makes sense is hard. I don't know if its a disability, handicap, or adult ADD. whatever it is I can always remember my 5th grade teacher making us fill a piece of notebook paper front and back with a period or whatever other punctuation mark we have missed. I. am. not. sure. how. that. has. helped. me.

I am thankful for the blessings my family has enjoyed this year and the many miracles and tender-mercies we have witnessed. I am thankful for my knowledge of the gospel and my Savior. I love my family and I'm so thankful we will be together forever!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Aileena's Radiation Treatment

Aileena started radiation treatment December 8, 2009. We’ve been anxious to get this started- so we can get it over with. The sessions go very smoothly. The appointment is at 3:30 each day (Monday to Friday). Aileena gets out of school about 1 hour before, drives up to the University of Washington, checks in and usually is in the treatment room within 5 minutes. The treatment itself is only about 10 minutes including set up. Then we head one hour back home. The UW has free valet parking which is very nice- they can't even take a tip. We gave them a big box of chocolates for Christmas. Because the appointments are so short, the valet guys usually just leave the car waiting for us, which is really nice. Aileena listens to High School Musical during the treatments and doesn't seem to mind them at all. The treatments will end January 22. She did get Christmas off and will get New Years off too. We meet with the doctor every Monday for a status. The side effects are typically nausea and fatigue, but so far that hasn't bothered her, which is a great sign half way through treatment. The only side effect is that she lost a bunch of her hair on her left side over the last three days, but that was expected. It doesn't seem to bother her and she is taking everything in stride. So far, it is still like nothing ever happened. She hasn’t missed a beat at school and her teacher reports that she doesn’t see any impact from all of this.

Aileena continues to handle this without any problems. Her biggest melt downs are wanting to go back to the hospital- that place where you have your own room, balloons, stuffed animals, games, your own TV, movies on the laptop, meals in bed, your own bathroom, Mom and Dad to yourself, and all the attention in the world. Couldn’t we all be so lucky! At home, she has four siblings to compete with! We just remind her about the shots, tubes in the arms, being woken up at all hours, etc. But, that isn’t very persuasive argument in her mind. For her birthday party last month, her friends brought gifts for donating to Children’s Hospital. Patrick's Kiwanis Club kicked in and we ended filling our large SUV full of toys! Children’s Hospital was amazed at all the great gifts, and Aileena reports she felt like Santa Claus. It was a great experience for her.

We are hitting that point in which we hope life becomes uneventful and cancer free. Our doctor told us this past week that once treatment is over, we can start using the word "cured"- which is defined as no evidence of disease. We like that word! But, we’ll take it one day at a time. We appreciate all your continued thoughts and prayers. Your inquiries are appreciated and not at all intrusive. Your asking how things are going, and comments about your ongoing prayers don’t intrude, but rather lift us up and give us a great emotional boost to know that so many of you are taking an interest in our family. If you know others that are battling illness or other difficulties in life- give them a call or send them a card and let them know you care. It could make a tremendous change in their life for good.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We hope you are all blessed with great happiness, joy, family, friends and success this Christmas and in the year to come.

Here is a picture of Aileena's radiation mask. It's used to hold her head perfectly still and allows the technicians to line up the radiation machine in the exact same position each day:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aileena's Baptism

Aileena was baptised on Nov. 28, 2009. Her dad baptized and confirmed her. She was very happy and excited about it all. The room was full of family and friends and we really appreciated the support. Her Grandma gave a talk on baptism, and her Oma a talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost. Aileena really wanted to sing a song for the program, so she did so with two friends and did a great job.

She looked so pretty in her new dress. A lot of family and friends came over to our house afterwards for lunch and time together. It made for a great Saturday.

With Dad:

In her new dress:

Aileena's french tips and new CTR ring and bracelet.

Friends she sang with:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nay-Nay is eleven!

Nathan celebrated his birthday November 11, 2009. He turned eleven on 11-11-09! A girl even called and left a message wishing him a happy birthday. We've enjoyed giving him a hard time about that.

He was born on his Great-Grandfathers birthday who was born 11-11-1918 (Armistace Day, then end of WWI)! In 2011 we will have to really celebrate. Nathan played flag football this year for the first time and really enjoyed it. He is playing volleyball right now and basketball starts in a month. He loves sports. He is also playing the clarinet and is really enjoying it. He does great in school and is a good friend to a lot of kids.

Nathan is a smart, thoughtful and caring boy. People routinely comment about what a nice kid he is. He's a big help around the house, great with his brothers and sisters, and has a big heart. Here are some pictures of my handsome boy. I don't follow football at all, but I think I've got the cutest QB ever! We're so happy to have him as our son.

Nathan QB-ing

Nathan first day of 5th grade

Nathan at the circus with an Orange County Chopper

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Eena Beena is 8!

Aileena woke up on her birthday and opened presents in our bed. We're not sure how that started, but it has become a family tradition. The queen size bed isn't cutting it anymore. Here she is birthday morning.

Aileena had a great birthday party on Saturday with lots of friends. They made tie dye shirts, ate pizza and enjoyed being together. Rather than presents for Aileena, she asked her friends to bring presents to donate to Children's Hospital. The kids loved it and Aileena enjoyed telling her friends about why their presents were so great for kids in the hospital. It gave her an opportunity to share a little bit about what she did while there. We are all so thankful for a place like Children's where Aileena got the best care she could get. On Wednesday, she'll be going to Patrick's Kiwanis meeting where they will be donating more unwrapped toys that she can take.

Some more pictures from the party:

Aileena- Brain Tumor: Ependymoma

What a month. Most of you are probably aware of Aileena's diagnosis with brain cancer after finding a tumor on Oct. 8, 2009. If not- she is doing great! We update a little more often through Facebook and email. So, if you want on the email list, let me know and we'll add your email address. The following is the story and how this major change in our family started a month ago.

Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday evening (Oct 8, 2009), our daughter Aileena (age 7), woke up from a nap and was having trouble speaking and noticeable problems on the right side of her body. It was like she had a stroke. Medic One took her to the fire station on Kent Kangley (about 1 mile from our home) and they flew her via helicopter to Harborview (Seattle). When we arrived about 40 minutes later, they were doing some imaging (CT and MRI) and discovered that she had a tumor and cyst in her brain (left side a little above and behind her ear). The stroke-like symptoms were from pressure on her brain. They gave her a steroid which reduced the pressure and shortly thereafter, she was talking much better and regained much of her right side control. They then transferred her to Children’s Hospital late Thursday night.

She had a surgery to remove the tumor/cyst Friday afternoon. It went very well. The surgeon (Dr. Jeffrey Ojemann) estimated a 2-5 hour surgery, and finished in just under 2 hours. He is one of the best surgeons in the country for this type of procedure and was very happy with the results. He believes he was able to remove nearly all of the tumor/cyst, which they will confirm with additional MRI on Saturday. This is the most important treatment as a full removal greatly decreases the risk of recurrence. He stated it was a very aggressive and rare cancer. But, he also said if a kid is going to have a brain tumor, this is the one to have because treatment of it is very successful. They are still waiting pathology reports, due on Wednesday, to confirm it’s the type of cancer he strongly believes it is (and initial pathology reports support his belief), but so far, so good. After the surgery, we were warned that Aileena could have some difficulty with speech and right side motor skills (the left side of the brain controls the right side). Fortunately, she was doing fantastic in both areas- we didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary- besides being a little drugged up. In fact, as we came back to her room, we heard her loudly telling the nurse, “I want it out!”, meaning the catheter. She wanted nothing more to do with that. This has been quite the past day and a half for her and her family. We’re grateful that so far all steps seem to be very positive. The surgeon informed us that if it is the type of cancer he thinks it is, then some outpatient radiation treatment is likely, with MRI’s every 3 months for a year or so, and then less often after that. This type of cancer does not typically spread to other parts of the body, and if she is clean for 7 years, it is very unlikely it will ever come back. So, we are anxiously optimistic until his educated guesses are confirmed on Wednesday.

A picture after her surgery:

Sunday, October 11, 2009
We had a good day Saturday. Aileena got out of ICU! She has a great room and we can see the top of Husky Stadium. She doesn't seem to think that's as cool as Dad does. She had an MRI Saturday morning and the surgeon reported this morning that it showed all clear in her brain and spine, which is very comforting news. The kind of cancer the surgeon believes she has limits itself to the brain and spine, which apparently is a good thing. Having no signs of it in her spine was great. So, they believe they got it all. The game plan is still to wait for Wednesday when the “tumor board” meets (all surgeons, pathologists, and a bunch of other medical people that review all tumor/cancer cases and develop a treatment plan). Hopefully, they’ll confirm the surgeon’s diagnosis and initial pathology report that the cancer is what he thinks it is. If it is, it’s rare and aggressive but responds extremely well to treatment. Aileena fell asleep watching a movie on Dad's laptop last night (so he could command the TV and watch the Husky game), has been eating very well, has been walking around her room, coloring, chatting, watching TV, playing with her new stuffed animals, etc. She’s about to take a shower and get her nails painted by Mom.
The board in the room has for her goals to, “eat, drink, walk, poop”. That’s a pretty successful day for any of us. We couldn’t be happier with her progress and the surgeon commented again this morning that she is doing far better than he would have expected. She’s probably looking at going home after Wednesday, but hopefully before next Sunday. Your good thoughts and prayers have been felt, appreciated and answered in so many ways. Children’s Hospital has been wonderful.

Monday, October 12, 2009
Aileena comes home tomorrow! That is at least four days sooner than anticipated. She’s had a great day. Walking around, up to the childrens play room, packing all her things, etc. She is ready to get out of here! She also met her four goals (see email above). The doctors said surgery is the hardest part of the entire ordeal, and she went through that with flying colors! We couldn’t be happier. We wish Wednesday would get her faster so we can get the final diagnosis and treatment plan. Whatever treatment is recommended will likely start in a couple of weeks. We have a picture showing the area they cut out of her skull. Pretty crazy. If you’ve cut off a pumpkin top and marked it so it will go back to the original spot, that’s what they did to her skull.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Aileena is home! We are so excited to have her. The only side effect of all of this so far is that she is super chatty. Guys, the talking button in a female brain is in the back left corner. She had another great day. She loves being home, lots of cards and wonderful gifts, and great visitors. Dinners have been provided and we are truly blessed by the outpouring of support. Thank you all! Tomorrow is our big day with the doctor at 2:45. We’ll get the final diagnosis and treatment plan. We hope and pray for the initial diagnosis of our surgeon.

She’ll start school in a couple of weeks, though she may be able to get a couple of hours in each day starting next week. Dad says he can’t say he's been a part of many “major” miracles. In this case, we have. It has been an amazing, though difficult, experience so far. As we look back the past few days we see that miracles occurred. Changes in schedules that had been set for weeks/months prior to what started all this, family/friends that were nearby, the location of some of our kids at the time the symptoms first started (so they didn't have to see what she was going through and therefore get extremely worried), the first responders that came, availability of the life flight helicopter, some of the best specialists in the country that cared for her, her amazing recovery to date, no apparent effects from the surgery, etc. etc. etc., all evidence that miracle and the hand of our Heavenly Father. We have no idea why we have been so blessed since this all began. But, we are so grateful for those blessings and know that we are in good hands regardless of what tomorrow brings.

We are also very humbled by the love and goodness we experienced. We are very fortunate. We saw many kids at the hospital that may never make it home, or may come home with tremendous handicaps and obstacles. It’s been part of our prayers that some of the good thoughts and prayers given for our benefit will also reach those children and their families. There is much good in this world, and we appreciate you sharing so much with our family. Keep those prayers coming, they are felt and appreciated.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009
We have excellent news! The initial diagnosis is confirmed. The tumor/cancer is known as an Ependymoma, grade 2. There are different types of ependymomas depending upon the location, grade (aggressiveness) and a bunch of other factors above my head. It is rare, accounting for less than 10% of all brain tumors, though a little more common in kids. Approximately 2/3 of those are found in the lower brain/spinal column. 1/3 are found in the area where Aileena’s was- which is some fancy medical term, Supratentorial, that means the upper portion on the brain. After all, I’m just a simple attorney when it comes to words! Because of the location, lower grade (grade 2 vs. the higher grade 3), her response to the treatment, the belief that all of the tumor was removed according to the surgeon and the post-op MRI; the doctors are very optimistic about Aileena. Her recovery continues to be unbelievable. We had several doctors’ comment today about how they cannot believe she is 5 days post-op. The odds of recurrence are fairly small (about 20%) which is good in the realm of brain cancer. More importantly, if a recurrence happens, the same type of treatment occurs with similar good results. In some other types of cancer, recurrence is a horrible sign, which is fortunately not the case here. If this tumor does recur, then about 95% of the time it does so in the same area and does not spread to other parts of the brain/spine. That all said, we know she may not be “cured”, as only time will tell.

At this point, we have two options: 1) radiation therapy. This is very localized, but does present some risk of damage to good tissue which can effect memory, language, growth. This is fairly low risk- but still a risk. Radiation is very precise today. Or, 2) Watchful waiting. Because this tumor is rare, there aren’t really any studies to go on. However, over the past couple of years, doctors are beginning to think that if a full removal occurred during surgery, radiation may offer little or no benefit. There have been patients who have gone on to live very healthy and cancer free lives with surgery alone. In our discussions, the doctors wouldn’t really give a recommendation, but seemed to be leaning toward the watchful waiting approach. This is based upon the surgeons belief he was able to remove everything, a very good MRI after surgery that showed no residue, and Aileena’s excellent recovery. There is no wrong choice in this regard. As monitoring and treatment of any recurrence would be the same regardless of what we do now. So, we’ll be having some significant discussions, along with fasting and praying.
Regardless of the decision, monitoring will be an MRI every 3 months for a couple of years at least. Over time, that will decrease. Once she hits about 8 years with no recurrence, the odds of recurrence drop tremendously. An MRI can pick up any recurrence that is just a few millimeters in size. That is very small and long before any symptoms might arise. This type of cancer rarely spreads (it stains in the brain and spinal cord if it does spread), affect other areas of her body, doesn’t pass on genetically, cause an increase risk to our other children, or seem to have other impacts. If it doesn’t return, we expect Aileena to have a full and healthy life. Even if it does return, treatment remains very successful and we would still anticipate a full and healthy life.

Our oncologist (Dr. Sarah Leary) today said that she was happy to pass on such wonderful news. It’s hard to believe a week ago that any news related to brain cancer would be positive. But at this point, we agree with her. We are very happy with this diagnosis and know we are so fortunate to have very successful treatment options. Unfortunately, we are the exception when it comes to brain tumors. Children’s Hospital is an amazing place and we have full faith in the care they have, and will continue, to give.

We have felt much love and support from all of you, and we hope you have felt our love and prayers of thanksgiving for each of you. Your support has made this ordeal much easier for our family. Notes, emails, phone calls, balloons, stuffed animals, food, kind words, and so much else has lifted our spirits- especially Aileena’s. She has mentioned more than once that she didn’t know so many people knew her. She declared, “I’m famous”! Seeing her smile and laugh because of your simple acts has been priceless. We can never thank you all enough. Sarah, Aileena and I celebrated with dinner at the Space Needle. If someone told me on Friday we would be eating there in five days, I would have declared them certifiably insane. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.

So, these posts should decrease in scope and frequency. That is good! We’ll continue to update as to the decision on her treatment along with MRI scans. Your ongoing prayers and support are appreciated. If you are inclined, especially family, please feel free to fast with us on Friday as we seek inspiration from our Heavenly Father on how we are going to proceed with treatment and for a full and complete recovery for Aileena.

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Aileena is doing great. She just gets tired easy. She even attended Church today and participated in the special primary program. She is off most of her medications now, except for the anti-seizure stuff (which is precautionary, she hasn't had any seizures). No more steroids either, which is good as I didn't need her trying to bench press me or anything.

We decided against radiation. That took a lot of thought, study and prayer, but we feel very good about that decision. However, that is still subject to review after our second opinion that is being done by Dr. Peter Burger (doctor at John Hopkins, and one of the foremost experts on Ependymoma tumors. Ultimately, the risks associated with radiation seem to outweigh any benefit, even if there is a recurrence (radiation doesn’t guarantee against a recurrence either). With the monitoring that will be done, any recurrence will be caught early and should be very treatable. The doctors believe her risk of recurrence is very low given the success of the surgery.
We meet with the surgeon and oncologist on Oct. 28, so we'll figure out the monitoring schedule then. We'll also get the second opinion from Dr. Burger. In the brain cancer world, I think they are a little excited to treat this kind of tumor. Pretty weird. Maybe that's why they make the really big bucks. Aileena should make it to school tomorrow for at least 1/2 a day. The kids are even arguing again! A sure sign of a return to normal life. We love it. We did the Walk for a Cure at French Field in Kent this past summer. Never did we expect this to hit so close to home given we don't have any family history of cancer. Aileena has already mentioned that she is looking forward to doing the walk this next year. Her 8th birthday is coming up on Nov. 4 and her plan is to have friends bring presents to donate to Children's Hospital. Our family is getting to learn some wonderful lessons because of this. She told me today she wants to go to a Husky football game. They must have turned on a football switch in her brain too, as that’s a first. I’m still a little emotional about that.

Friday, October 30, 2009
We got a bit of a curveball yesterday. Aileena’s file was sent to a specialist (Dr. Burger) back East for a 2nd opinion. Apparently, Ependymoma’s are rare enough that pretty much all doctors send their files to this doctor. This doctor is apparently the guy that came up with the rating system used in determining how strong it is. Under his rating system, it is a Type II Ependymoma (there is only type II and type III). However, in his review, he believes it showed a component that is more common in Type III Ependymomas, but agreed everything else points to Type II. These types of tumors have a lot of gray area when it comes to diagnosis, so it’s difficult to type. Our doctors were good at explaining this was a possibility a couple of weeks back. That doesn’t necessarily change the prognosis or anything, but does change the doctors recommendation of how we treat it now. So, even though we were hoping to avoid radiation treatment and had done a lot of thought and prayer about it, it is now more strongly suggested by our doctors. So, we’re going to go with their recommendation and do whatever we can to insure this never comes back. It has been a small blow as we had a very optimistic hope that we were done with treatment. This should help further decrease the odds of a recurrence, so we’re happy about that. We’ve been truly blessed given that Aileena has done so extremely well. Right now, she is the same as if all of this never happened.

Aileena is back to school full time! She didn’t have any problems with the idea of radiation, though she obviously doesn’t quite comprehend it fully yet. She doesn’t seem to mind the trips up to Seattle as it involves dinner out each time. That may have to stop to give my wallet some relaxation! So, she was actually smiling when she learned we would be spending more time up there. Radiation is five days a week (during the week), but the appointments are fairly short (I understand the treatment itself is just a few minutes long each time). I’m not quite sure how long the 5 day/week lasts, but at least 6 weeks is our understanding. We are waiting to hear from the radiologist to set up the initial appointment and treatment time/schedule.
The treatment will be at the UW Hospital, so knowing we’re in the hands of the Purple and Gold is very refreshing! (Go Dawgs!) Our doctor informed us that the radiologist (Dr. Jay Douglas) is the best around. I asked if that is in the City of Seattle. She told me “No, the best on the West coast, and one of the best in the nation.” So, that is of course very comforting. If there was someone better to refer us to, she said she would tell us. She’s a very nice Doctor and we have great faith in her abilities. Aileena likes her, probably because her name is “Sarah”, like her Mom. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. We’re learning a lot of stuff I never though we would. We’re also learning about what a great blessing it is to have good doctors, hospitals, medical care, friends and family.

Monday Oct. 8, 2009
Aileena's first radiation appointment is Thursday. They'll get everything set up, do another CT Scan, make her mask, and do a practice run. We expect they'll start the radiation itself on Monday. We'll have a lot more detail on the treatment plan come Thursday. Aileena is doing great- birthday parties, school, and doing everything she likes to do. Her stitches are almost all gone too! What a month.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I cannot believe my baby is a year old already. Chase is such a blessing in our family. He was a great sleeper and eater from the beginning. Such a calm happy baby. Now he is a little spitfire!
He has a little temper and gets into everything. He loves throwing things in the toilet, climbing on everything and "dancing" to any kind of music. When he hears music or any kind of beat he drops whatever mischief he is getting into and bounces. He has quite a vocabulary for a one year old he says mama, dada, hot(he heard it quite a bit when we went camping) uh oh, Ella, dog, woof(sometimes I think he thinks he's a dog) and Ew(When he sees dead bugs on the ground he let's us know, I'm just glad he doesn't eat them!)

After we had Ella I had the feeling that someone was missing that we had another little boy waiting to join our family. Patrick thought we were done, and I put the thought aside since we were in the process of selling our very small house and Ella was not even 2 yet. I prayed that Patrick and I would get the same answer, so that we would not have any doubts about whether we should have another baby or not. And our answer was...... Chase. I am so thankful that I have my little family I love being a mother.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chase is 11 months!

Chase is walking! He looks like a little old man when he walks, he is the cutest! He loves putting legos, rocks, etc. in his mouth. He unwinds all the toilet paper and splashes in the toilet. The dog water is dumped at least once a day. He's a boy! But he makes up for it in the end because he is a snuggler.

Family room project

We recently tore out some really bad carpet and put Bellawood brazillian cherry hardwoods in its place.
Most of the first floor in our home already had them, so it was an easy decision of what kind of flooring to use. While were at it we also knocked out the hearth in front of the gas fireplace. Nathan helped his dad the whole time, they got it done in 2 days (just in time for a youth fireside the next day at our house!) I am so pleased with the final result so much easier to keep clean!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Jarrett's 6th birthday

My Jarrett is a great kid. He is a tender hearted sweet boy that knows how to make his mom and dad give in. He is a true friend, he makes friends with any kid anywhere he goes. He tells me I'm beautiful everyday. He's a deep thinker. He's a philosopher about life. He's spontaneous and energetic. And he's mine and I love him!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

San Juan Island Camping Part 1

This post is long overdue....summer happens. Now that summer is halfway way over and things have calmed down here it is! We left for San Juan Island on June 13th along with my parents who had come up to go camping with us. Our trip started with a ferry ride from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. We stayed at Lakedale resort which is about 10 miles outside of Friday Harbor.
Friday Harbor is a cute Island town with lots of little shops and restaurants. It even has a bowling alley and movie theatre. I love camping on the Islands you feel like your far from home but really your only 2 hours away. Plus I love the smell of the salt water, reminds me of summers going down the shore. (translation- New Jersey beaches) We got to tie dye some shirts the second day we were there. It brought back memories of girl scout camp.
to be continued.......

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chase is 10 months old!

Chase is 10 months and a ball of energy! He does not sit still for very long. If you don't hold on tight he tries to dive out of your hands, over furniture or down the stairs! He cruises around furniture even taking his hands off to almost make a step. He can clap his hands wave hi and bye and climb the stairs! He is eating table food and can drink out of a cup. He only has one tooth popping through so far. He is a great sleeper, He sleeps all night long with 2-3 naps a day.
I couldn't ask for a better baby!
He last went to the Dr. at 9 months and his stats were: 18lb 15.5 oz. and 28 in. long. Even though he is our 5th baby I still cannot believe how quickly they grow up.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I wanted to take a second and wish my dad and my baby daddy x5 (husband) a Happy Father's Day! I've been blessed to have a a very patient understanding dad that loves me so much. My dad set such a wonderful example of a hard worker to me. He worked up to 3 jobs at a time with no complaint to support his family. I love the way he can strike up a conversation with complete strangers and talk about anything. He has great memory, I love to hear his stories. I was lucky to have spent the last 10 days with my dad and mom camping (camping post to follow soon) It is always great to have them visit especially when my dad can come, we get to see him only a couple times a year. My kids love their Opa so much. They love to joke around with him and have him tease them. We are so blessed to have him! We love you Opa!

My sweet patient husband fulfills his calling as a father perfectly. He uses just the right amount of love, discipline, and fun. I love the example he sets in his church calling, professional career, and hobbies. My children our so blessed to have such a wonderful daddy.

Friday, May 29, 2009

It's my Burtday!

On May 23rd we celebrated our sweet Ella's 3rd birthday. She had been waiting patiently for the day to arrive. Whenever I made cupcakes months before she would announce it 's my burtday! So we actually celebrated her birthday several times before her actual one! I know I say this all the time, but I really cannot believe how old she is!

Things I love about Ella:
1. She tells me I'm beeootiful (she learned that from Jarrett)
2. She loves her Daddy so much! She runs to the door and gives him a big hug when he gets home.
3. She can't live without her chocamilk!
We love our little comedian she always has a big smile and has a contagious laugh!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

14 years with this man...

Today is our 14th wedding anniversary!!!! Patrick is just as handsome and energetic as the day I met him. Well maybe not as energetic... He was wearing a suit that day also;) I'm so lucky to have such a hardworking talented husband. He is also very forgiving (the picture). He is always a loving father and husband. I love him so much!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Chase is officially crawling and getting into stuff the dog food and recycling are no longer safe!

This is Aileena and her good friend Kiera at their 1st grade concert.
I love to get out int he yard to do some work. On this day we put out some new beauty bark. Ella told me she likes my barf (bark) it looks nice. I didn't get a front shot of the house, I plan on getting a before and after when we paint the house this summer along with all the other projects I have planned!

Here is picture from Easter with everybody checking out their loot.
Here is one of my cherry trees with a birdhouse full of a new little bird family.
I love all four seasons and I always look forward to the next. I love living in a place where I can experience all four. On April 23 or around about there it was our one year anniversary in our new house. We feel so blessed that we were able to sell our house and buy this much bigger one just in the nick of time before the market went south.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Conversations with Ella....

Conversation between Ella and her daddy on Saturday;

Ella: Does yours office have a potty?

Daddy: Yes it does.

Ella: Ooooooh.

Ella: Does yours office have toilet paper?

Daddy: Yes it does.

Ella: Ooooooh.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Living room update

So here it is the chocolate brown living room. I'm still warming up to it. It is quite different from anything we have ever done before. We looked around for a big mirror to put above the couch, we couldn't find one large enough. So the hunt continues. The pictures above the couch are actually just pics we got printed from Costco for under $20.00. There is a few more things we would like to add to the room. So it is definitely a work in progress. I can sum up the whole process with this:

5 different gallons of paint- $???(I don't want to know).
3 different home improvement stores, gas and time -$??? (I still don't want to know).
1 Painted living room and a very sweet patient tired husband- priceless

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Redecorating Rambling.....

Patrick and I are currently in the process of redecorating our living room. We are painting the walls brown. I've got a little thing for chocolate brown right now(as you can tell from my blog wallpaper). So after one failed paint color we think we've found the right one. It's been giving me a headache, It's a pretty big commitment to paint such a dark color. My inspiration comes from Better Homes and Gardens October 2008 article Triple Play pages 37-40 in case you get the mag. Once we have the furniture back in the room I'll give an update. I just hope it turns out like I want it too.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chase is 6 months!

Chase was 16 lb 15.8 oz and 27.5in. at his 6 month checkup on Monday. As you can see from the pic still plenty of drool but no teeth yet! He was my best sleeper until last night. He had the nerve to wake me up 4 times! He usually sleeps 6 to 7 hours with a feeding at 4 or 5am. We'll see what happens tonight. Hopefully it was just a reaction to his shots from Monday. He started to sit up by himself at 5 months 3 weeks it was like it had happened overnight. One day he was all floppy the next his back straight as a board.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cereal and Water Heaters

Saturday I decided to give Chase cereal for the first time. He seemed to like it. Next it's fruits and veggies!

We have had problems with our water heater, so Patrick decided it was time to replace it. It went in without a problem. We ended up putting in a 50 gallon tank instead of the 40 gallon we had. Our neighbor suggested we upgrade to be prepared for a house full of teenagers! I have such a handy husband!