"He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason." -Bruce D. Porter

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Odds and Ends from the Past Month

When all of my boys turn 1 year old, they get their first hair cut. Seth didn't have a whole lot of hair when he turned 1. He still doesn't. But the back is getting a little long, so we decided that when he turned 18 months we'd give him a little trim on the back. So here he is sitting in the high chair waiting for his first hair cut.

He didn't mind the vibration of the hair clippers! With a little entertainment from Kate, we got the back trimmed up a bit.

Walla! Yep, he pretty much looks the same. It just is trimmed. Oh well. But he was a really good sport about it. Now that he's 18 months he can go to the Nursery at church. We missed our first official Sunday in the Nursery because church was cancelled due to the huge snow storm that passed over us. (See pics below.) It will take time, but one day he won't be sad when I'm not there. I only leave for 10-15 mintues at a time. He usually lasts that long and then notices I'm not around. I wouldn't mind him crying, but he's still so little and takes a little more attention than the others, so I don't want the Nursery leaders feeling overwhelmed. And I don't mind the Nursery. It's the second best calling to me, with Sunbeams being number one. Ok, maybe it's a close tie, I love them both.

So, here's some pictures of the snow. We got a record breaking amount of snow, 21 inches! This caused church to be cancelled as well as the last three days of school before Christmas Break!

Our neighbor let Todd borrow his four wheeler to plow the street and driveways. If not for this, we'd have no way to get out as they don't plow the side streets until all main roads are clear, which can take so many days! Kate rode around on the back of it while Todd plowed.

This is what Sunday morning looked like.

It was fun to have the kids home from school for a few extra days. We only had a week and a half scheduled for Christmas break, which I thought was a little short. But then I saw the calendar for Spring Break and we get a week and a half off for that, so I guess it equals out.

The girls in the family decided to paint our toenails to match the season. I did the red, and Kate added the details. It was fun.

Todd was scheduled to work on Christmas Day, so we all got up at five in the morning to open presents. The kids were just fine with that idear. I would have posted pics of the kids on Christmas morning, but most of them are missing at least one article of clothing on their bodies, so I held back, so as not to embarrass any of them. Todd left for work at six and I went back to bed with Seth. Todd came back home about an hour later, to our surprise! Not enough patients means someone has to go home! We were so happy to have him home. The kids lasted all day and finally crashed around 9 pm. It seems like time flies so fast. I remember Christmas day lasting so much longer as a kid. I'm thankful that the kids were happy with their gifts. Honestly, I think they'd be happy with anything, thank goodness. Alex wouldn't tell me what he wanted. I finally suggested a few things and ended up getting him a Little People Airplane. After we take an airplane flight next summer, I know it will have more meaning. He knows we are going, so is very interested in what it will be like. He now wants Lego Star Wars after watching the other boys build their creations. So, he's going to put a chart on the wall, and after he walks 250 circles, which is sixty-two and a half miles, he'll get his own Lego Star Wars. Hey, this OCD can get you a lot! He will walk a mile and a half on most days. I think I can push him to two miles a day. How hard is it to walk on the tread mill when there's a television staring you in the face. Well, sometimes I have to hold on cause I lose balance! :) Enjoy!
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never - no, never, no never forsake!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Christmas is the time of year when I think we recognize miracles more easily. Todd is back to working days now. So this means unless he can switch with someone, he has to miss two Sundays a month. So today was the first Sunday without Todd in a while. It really wasn't that big of a deal in the past. I got use to it while he was in San Antonio and have never had a problem with the children during Sacrament. Well, now things are different. I am the organist now. So I can't sit with the children the whole time. I do not worry about any of the children, except Seth. All the others are really well behaved. And I'm sure there's not an adult around who wouldn't quiet them down if need be. But Seth is a mama's boy. If anyone tries to hold him, he just cries. That's where I get concerned about what to do. Our sweet Relief Society president has always been offering to watch him during Sacrament if need be. So today, she took Seth. She's watched him before, and he's done fairly well, all things considering. But today a miracle occurred. She took Seth from my arms and he whimpered a little bit, but then he was fine. He smiled at her when the hymns were being sung. He even fell asleep in her arms! I never heard him cry once the whole entire Sacrament meeting! This is something I am so grateful for! Miraculous!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Serious illnesses, family tragedies, and emotional struggles do not happen necessarily because we have sinned. Adversity and heartbreak happen to good people; such is the fruit of a fallen world. But having experienced tragedy, sickness, and disappointment in His own life, the Savior knows how to strengthen us in such trials as well. He is there not only when we cry out from the burden of sin but also when we cry out for any other reason." -Bruce D. Porter

Friday, December 4, 2009


You know, signing is not that hard. It's actually very easy. We've been watching the Singing Time videos and it's actually not all that bad. Go to ASL Pro on line and there's a pretty good browser there to help with words. Start with the words you use everyday. That way it's easy. I've actually started with finger spelling, signing the ABC's. Once comfortable with this, I then began to pick up other signs. And then I'm wondering how will Seth ever sign back to us? Well, duh, same way hearing children learn to talk. They hear it over and over and repeat back what they hear. Signing children do the same. They see the signs over and over and will start to imitate the signs. Seth signs milk. When I saw him trying it out, it started to hit home that it really works! I'm getting more comfortable around the deaf people at the school. I don't understand them yet, but I do recognize some signs. One day Todd will pick it up too!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Flood Watch

It rains so much here. And right now since it's cold, it's always muddy as well. I thought it was funny when they announce on the radio that there was a flood watch in effect tonight. What, like we actually can get more rain? Wow! We'll see what happens. I guess it's suppose to rain pretty hard tonight. Usually the rain is a light drizzle which lasts all day long. Rarely do we get hard down pours and it's really even more exciting to have thunder! It just rumbles and keeps rolling because there are no mountains to stop it! Luckily, we are not in a flood prone area. There is a creek below the house, but we are well above it to not have to worry about flooding problems. I think it's neat that the pansies are growing right now. I wonder how long into the winter they will last, or will they last all winter until it's too hot next summer? I think I might have to go buy some for my flower pots next to the house and see what happens.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are only two things that bring you happiness in this life: family and service. I love my family and when you see all that you do for them in the light of service, it's no longer a chore. I don't mind cleaning up after them and knowing they'll make a mess again. I'm glad they had a clean place to mess up! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Funny Little Karsten

Karsten is so funny. I take Seth to the Maryland School for the Death for their Infant/Toddler program. Siblings are allowed to join as well. So I tell Karsten he gets to go to a new preschool. He will join the older children in their group. I tell him it will be a deaf preschool. He leaves the room and goes in his room and I hear him say, "I don't want to go there." He then comes back into my room and says, "but Mom, I can hear." That made me laugh. So I explained to him that it didn't matter, he would learn to sign like the rest of the children and he would have fun. Needless to say, on Friday, he had a fun time and he calls it his "deaf preschool". When I walked into the class on Friday they were playing a game in the gym. It was the quietest group of kids playing a game that I've seen! From what I can tell, there are about three others with hearing aids, so they have some level of hearing, one girl had a cochlear implant, and the others I assume are completely deaf? There were a couple of parents there who were deaf as well. A couple of the teachers are deaf as well, so because we are new and don't sign very much at all, one of the teachers interprets for us. The school teaches both ways of speech, the speaking and listening side and the signing side. Seth was either practicing waving or the sign for milk the other day. Or perhaps he was just checking out his fingers! Every Saturday I drive down to Alexandria VA for Seth to see a private speech teacher. She is very good. I am so surprised at how well Seth listens and responds to her. He does things for her that I never thought he could do! I wish she could come just live with us! She is definatley talented and I try to rationalize that even though it's such a far drive, it will be worth it in the end. I hate accidents. That's the worst part of the drive. Accidents back up traffic so bad and makes the drive so much longer. I only made one wrong turn this last trip out! I'm getting better!

Karsten has started reading the Dick and Jane books. I love those books. I always grab one if I see a copy at the thrift store. He is very good at reading. He loves to read Funny Little Sally. And Puff, the cat. It's amazing what words they can remember. I've done some sounding out words with him as well, like cat, hat, sat, etc. He's also starting to learn basic addition. I will miss him when he leaves for Kindergarten! He's been a joy to have at home with me!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On a Political Note

Ok, usually I'm not that vocal when it comes to politics. I'll admit, I'm clueless on a lot of things, either because I don't know what is going on or that I don't know that facts about what is going on. So, I'm trying to change that. One great tool in deciding whether we are going the right direction in regards to the government is to study history! The following quotes were made by Ezra Taft Benson in 1961 during General Conference. Although at the time the fight was against communism, I think we can see the same thing happening in our time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Alex's birthday!

So, for Alex's birthday he got a tricycle! Grandma and Grandpa Stailey also flew in from Utah, which was a surprise to the children. It was a great week having them here, even though a few of us got sick!


I finally figured out how to do the blue eyes on my camera, Sarah!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Turning Twelve!

I got a phone call from the executive secretary for the ward today to set up an appointment for Alex to have an interview with the Bishop. He's turning twelve! I cannot believe it! He can also go to the temple to do baptisms now. I remember turning twelve, how can I have a son who is that old now? He only has one more Sunday in Primary and he reminded me of that today as we were leaving church. He is excited to pass the sacrament. I wonder how his first Sunday will go? He'll also be joining the Young Men and will go on all their activities.

A funny note about Alex: last night when we went trick or treating it was very warm, 71 degrees with 89% humidity. Alex was dressed as Walker, Texas Ranger. He had a black cowboy hat, a dark button up shirt, his badge, and a pair of red shorts! I told him Walker never wears shorts, but he insisted on wearing them, especially with the warm weather we were having!

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Can Guarantee He is Not Always Hungry

Alex has Prader-Willi Syndrome. People with this syndrome are said to have an insatiable appetite and put on weight rapidly. While the rapid weight gain is true, the insatiable appetite is in question. We attended a conference where a study was done and their finding lead them to believe that they do not have an insatiable appetite, merely they are seeking out food because it brings them pleasure. I find this true with many things Alex does. If he likes something, he wants to do again and again and will use the event in his make believe play. For example, church. He loves everything having to do with church. He's obsessed with the Mormon Tab. He plays church with his Little People and every Sunday sits in his room and sings the Hymns. So in the case of food, food definatly brings people pleasure and they seek that out, and because of this we've mistakenly assumed that they have an insatiable appetite. Disclaimer: this is not a theory that is accepted by the PWS Association. This is merely a new theory. But I totally believe it to be true. Besides the research that was done, I have my own proof. On the counter sits eight bananas. Alex will not touch them because they have brown spots on them. He only eats bananas that do not have brown spots. I will not lock those bananas up and I can guarantee they will be there in the morning. Now if Alex was really starving all the time and would eat anything, I would expect him to eat those bananas. But he doesn't and he never has.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sunday mornings usually aren't too crazy around our house, well except maybe for today. I was taking my time getting ready for church this morning (we start at 9) because I have the help of the greatest guy ever! Well, at 7 this morning, the hospital calls in him because they are short nurses. So Todd has to leave and I'm left to get the kids ready to go on my own. The girls are pretty good at helping, so that was good. I'll admit, I am not that great at keeping this house together. Somewhere in the mass chaos of my life, Alex's white shirt did not get washed. Of course he doesn't say a word about this to me. He takes his shirt and sticks it in the washer, 15 minutes before we have to leave! So as I'm hollering at everyone to head to the van and asking Alex why he's not dressed, he tells me his shirt is washing. I tell him he's going to have to wear something else, and of course this is not possible. He pulls his shirt out of the washer and puts it in the dryer and I tell him I'm just going to have to leave him and come back later and get him. He's crying now and doesn't like this, but what do you do? I play the organ for Sacrament and by now it's a quarter to nine, fifteen minutes later than I usually leave. So we just leave him. I was thinking the whole way to church that I'll just ask someone else to play. I arrive and no one that I know who can play is there, so I just begin to play prelude. Oh, and I have to say, there's this sister in our ward, Rose, who watches after Seth for me when Todd is not there, and she is such an angel! Seth actually doesn't fuss too much when she has him. With anyone else he just cries the whole time! So I'm playing prelude scanning the audience to see if the three people I know who can play organ are there yet. No one yet and it's getting closer to the start of the meeting. I decide that I'll just play the opening and sacrament hymns and then go get Alex. Today was the Primary Sacrament Program and Alex had a part so I knew I needed to get him for that. The whole time I'm playing I'm also praying that Alex didn't decide to walk as he'd have had to cross a six lane road to get to the church! I was also hoping he wouldn't be too mad not to come to church with me when I went to get him! So after the sacrament hymn, I slip out the door and drive home to get Alex. We live maybe 2 minutes away from the chapel. When I arrive Alex is dressed and waiting! I was so happy I didn't have to fight with him! When we got to the church, Alex wouldn't go into the chapel. He just stood by the back door to the chapel until it was his turn to say his part. I missed Kate's talk at the beginning, but I did get to hear the other three children. It started out crazy, but turned out to be fine! And what's even better is that during Sunday School Todd arrived! They let him come home! It's going to be a great Sunday after all!

There's this guy in our ward who is mentally handicap, I'm not sure what he has, but every time he comes up to me and sees me holding Seth, he always comments on how bright Seth's light is shining! I love that! One angel talking to another!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I don't know when it will fully hit, but I have come to the realization that Seth will not hear normally on his own. We went to Walter Reed to get another ABR done to see where Seth's hearing levels may be and to see which of the past results it would favor. He is still measuring at the severe to profound hearing levels. And as I sit back and reflect on Seth and his speech, yes, he is probably way further behind than those his age, and yes, he doesn't say as much as other's his age. So, we again were presented with the option of Cochlear Implants. We will talk to a specialist in November. She will send us to another specialist who will review what Seth can hear, and advise us what options we have for Seth. If we went with Cochlear Implants, I hate the thought of taking away any natural hearing he does have. But then again, even if it doesn't have a very favorable outcome, what's the worse that could happen? We learn sign language? That's not bad at all! In fact, I'm sure we'll start learning to sign before we do any of this.

A few months ago we had a stake meeting and during the opening song I turned to my left and noticed the whole front section was signing the opening song! (We have a deaf branch in our stake.) It brought tears to my eyes to see it, but not tears of sadness. It's hard to explain what it was, but perhaps it's only the beginning. So, get your copy of Signing Time and let's begin!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This is for Tonnia

When I saw this, I thought of you and me, Tonnia! This was too funny!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nothings of the week

It seems that it's easier to post when something exciting is going on or the children have accomplished something. But as this week has passed and I've pondered what to blog about, it seems like there was nothing "huge" that happend. And if I wait, several weeks could go by. The children only had a four day week. Friday they were off for the teachers to attend a state conference. Kind of like how Utah use to have UEA weekend. Kate has joined the Safety Patrol. She gets to wear a bright yellow belt and a badge and help children cross the street safely. She is very happy about it. She has to be at school half an hour earlier than the rest and stays after as well.
Alex's final day at his old middle school was on Thursday. He shows no emotion about it. When I first told him he was changing schools, he told me no. But I just kept mentioning it to him so he would get use to the idea, and now he is excited to go to the new school. He will start up tomorrow morning, and lucky him, he gets his own school bus which will pick him up right in front of our home.
The Primary Sacrament Meeting Program will be next Sunday. I've got five kids taking part in it. This will be the only time that five of the children together will participate. By the time Seth is in Sunbeams Kate will already be in Young Women's. So, this will be something special. Karsten, Dane, and Emily all have their parts memorized. Kate actually had to write a talk, so hers is a little longer and she thinks it's impossible to memorize. And Alex, well, who knows if he's got it memorized. He probably does, actually, but will never tell me he does. I'm going to make a small poster with his words on it so the congregation can understand what he is saying. He will be turning 12 here in a few weeks. I can't believe he is that old! He is so happy about being able to pass the sacrament. And you know he'll be making sure everyone else is doing it right as well! It's crazy how time passes so quickly. Karsten hardly seems like a little toddler anymore. He's four and a half! I was just thinking of how I miss the two year old stage, when they are walking around and want to try everything and are learning to talk and all. I'm thankful Heavenly Father allowed me to have this experience one last time, as I can't have anymore. The kids are great! Yes, we do have fights, and quarrels, and disagreements amongst them. But, oh well. I loved Elder Bednar's talk that he gave in General Confrence "More Diligent and Concerned at Home". http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-1117-6,00.html When he described the things that their kids did during prayer or FHE, it made me laugh and it sure was comforting to know that we all go through it! Even the apostles have gone through what we are going through trying to raise a family! Anyways.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

There are some teachers out there who are angels sent from Heaven!

We had another meeting at Alex's school today to finalize his hew IEP for the new school he will be attending. He only has one week left at his old middle school. I feel like everyone has been so great and have gone out of their way to help him. I was feeling a little sad that we were moving him as everyone has commented on how much they enjoy having Alex around. And then I talked to his PE teacher, Ms. Woods. I've met her before, but it was just briefly. So we got to talking and she told me she was so sad and shocked to have Alex leaving her class. She told me how much she loved him and his personality. He always kept them on schedule, always knew when the bell would ring, and wouldn't let the other kids try to cheat or misbehave. He never was a problem in her class and she was so good for him! She's been teaching forever, and she said she wanted to go where Alex was going! I was so touched by what she said that it made it even harder to have to say goodbye to his old middle school. What was even more touching was that she told me that the class never let him be the last one chosen. You never want your child to feel left out or different, and when they have disabilities, you are even more protective of them. What a great PE class he's had. I'm so grateful that he's had such a good experience. Just because it's a GIGANTIC place, doesn't mean there aren't people who care. It makes me feel good to know that when Kate enters middle school next year that there are a lot of good teachers out there wanting the best for our kids. Especially a certain PE teacher named Ms. Woods.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

It's been one year!

Last year at this time, on General Conference Sunday in October, we brought Seth home from the hospital! He's been home one whole year! I remember the first night he came home, I slept maybe one hour. He was on oxygen and a pulse oximeter and I was afraid it would alarm during the night and I wouldn't hear it, even though his crib was right next to my bed! He's twelve pounds heavier now than he was than and much more mobile. It's been a long stressful year when I think about what we've gone through with just him. At least he sleeps during the night, well he does wake up twice to still eat, but he always goes right back to sleep. He's an alarm clock, though, as he wakes up at 6:30 a.m. every morning, give or take a few minutes. I don't know how he knows, but he does. He still takes to naps a day, though, which gives me a little break. The bruises on the forehead are starting to appear as he tries to climb up to everything, and falls occasionally as well. I love the little guy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Goodbye September!

Can you believe that September is over already? Tomorrow starts the first day of October. Remember as a kid when time went by so slowly? Now I don't have enough hours in the day to do anything! I'm so far behind, I'll never catch up! So what am I trying to do in my few small moments I like to call spare time? I've got two quilts for the girls in the making, I'm trying to organize my bedroom, I've started doing Family History work again, Sarah's got me into jewelry making, and then there's the organ that I should practice more and the guitar that sits dusty in the corner. But I must admit that this computer finds more of my time than any of the other things I want to be doing. I've got to get off this computer! Ok, I'm gonna work on more of my room right now! TTFN!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Seth's Due Date!

Today we are celebrating Seth's due date, September 26th. It will kind of be like a second birthday party for him. The kids want to make him strawberry shortcake. I'm not sure if Seth will like it, but it sounds good to all of us! Seth is 15 months old now. He is pulling up to everything. It seems he is mastering everything the PT shows him how to do in about two weeks time. Two weeks ago we were teaching Seth how to go from the crawling position to sitting. Two weeks later he's doing it like a pro. This is how his crawling came along as well and going from sitting to crawling position. He mastered all these two weeks after he'd been taught. Now we are working on cruising. He pulls up just fine but doesn't quite know how to sit back down yet. And beware the stairs, he knows how to climb those. We are still on formula, though. I need to find out what's up with the whole milk. I mentioned before it makes him smell so sour. We tried soy milk, but it's way more expensive than formula, so we just continued buying formula. Sarah mentioned trying rice milk as it is even different than soy. We'll give it a try! We love you little guy!

Karsten exploring the deep depths of his nose!

So yesterday I put Karsten in the bathtub for a bath. After washing him down, I left the bathroom and told him he could play for a little while I went and did a little cleaning. After he'd been playing for a time I hear him start crying about his nose bleeding. So I come to the bathroom and find him with a bloody nose. I asked him how it happend. At first he said he didn't know, but then I asked him if he was picking at it. He then told that there was a lego in his nose! He had stuck one in each nostril. The bloody nose was from him digging one out. Apparently the other nostril still had one in there! So we dried him off, pulled out the good ol' tweezers, and got the little sucker out! This reminded me of when I was little and stuck buttons up my nose. Fortunately for Karsten he did not have to go the ER to have them removed. His weren't that high up!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Letting Go!

So Kate decided she wanted to do Emily's hair this morning and Emily was in agreement with this, so, what the heck! I come up stairs after they had been up there for awhile and Kate has Emily's hair in six braids! Then she ties all the braids back. It wasn't too bad, but I had laugh to myself because I remember putting six pony tails in my hair and going to church that way! I know, it's all practice, and eventually they will get really good at it. I love that the girls aren't self conscious, and I hope they never get that way. Kate's personality is more like that, she doesn't care what others think, she does what she wants. Haven't decided how Emily is in that area yet.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


When you've gone through a traumatic experience, does the pain of it ever end? It is true that time heals all wounds, as it is over time that you actually deal with it. I love Seth, and I am thankful he is part of my life. How fragile life is, perhaps this is why I worry so much about him. I think it is much harder looking back on all that happend than it actually was going through it. That is probably why when we read of other people's trials we don't understand how they make it through. Heavenly Father is with us when we are facing these things and that makes all the difference. Perhaps if we remember Him as we mourn for those around us, He can help us through theirs too. I hug Seth, and all my children, a little tighter now, and give them a few extra kisses as other angels return to Heaven, some a little early. "Oh what songs of the heart we shall sing all the day, when again we assemble at home, when we meet ne'er to part with the blest o'er the way, there no more from our loved ones to roam! When we meet ne'er to part, oh, what songs of the heart, we shall sing in our beautiful home. Tho our rapture and bliss there's no song can express, we will shout, we will sing o'er and o'er. As we greet with a kiss, and with joy we caress all our loved ones that passed on before; as we greet with a kiss in our rapture and bliss, all our loved ones that passed on before."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Seth the Crawlin' Machine

So here is a some footage of the little guy crawling. He is 2 days shy of being 15 months old. His adjusted age would be 2 weeks shy of 12 months. Hmmm, when do we stop counting adjusted age? Heck, if we count it forever we could always celebrate two birthdays!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A quick update!

I'll have to make this quick as it is really late and I have to get up at 6:30 in the morning to get Alex up and ready to make the school bus! Seth just saw the audiologist yesterday and is doing fantastic. They were measuring his hearing levels at mild to moderate. This wasn't an ABR or anything, just inside the booth while they play sounds and analyze his responses. It's great. Seth is crawling all over the house now and get this, he is starting to climb stairs! Scary! He will also pull up to stand in his crib as well! He wants to be up and moving so much, but he forgets he has to work up the strength to do so. His physical therapist said it best this morning: he's a 15 month baby in a 7 month old body and he wants to be doing so much more than his little body is letting him. It's like a window opened this past month and Seth has gone from baby to almost a toddler. I know Sandra and Sarah will find this hard to believe as he wasn't doing much while they were here. Well, I guess he was dragging himself around on the floor when Sarah was still here. Ok, I will go to bed now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Assateague Island

Last week we went to Assateague Island, Maryland for one last outing with Ed and Sarah before they left for Japan. We had a lot of fun! We arrived there Thursday evening and set up camp and spent a good part of Friday playing in the water. I wish I had taken so many more pictures! But you just get caught up in the beauty of the beach and water that you forget! Oh, and crossing over the Chesapeake Bay was really cool as well. The bridge was so long! And because of the humidity in the air, you couldn't see the other side of the bridge at first when you get on. We will definately be returning next year. It's only about a three hour drive there. Here are some pics or our outing!

Here is our campsite. We brought along our grill because we had no idea what kind of cooking we'd be allowed to do. We slept in our canopy! It was so cool to have the cool breeze of the ocean blowing on you all night! Unfortunatley I had nightmares all night about the tide rising so high that we would be flooded! Or that it would start raining! Silly!

There are wild horses that roam Assateague Island. You have to keep everything locked up or they will get into it! We had several horses visit us. Here is a pic of one of them trying to kick our box open! Luckily we had it secured under the table bench and he couldn't get in.

Todd firing up the grill to do some dutch oven breakfast cooking!

The kids enjoying lunch on the beach!

My beautiful sister, Sarah, holding Seth and her son, Dallin, sitting next to her.

Todd playing in the water. The next member of Bay Watch? :)

Dallin lost his tooth while eating lunch! We had to get a picture of it!

Enjoying the water!

Seth and I. The weather was very interesting. You could feel the humidity, it was so thick, yet there was always a cool breeze. It was mostly cloudy the whole time, which was nice. We sure loved it! The humidity made my hair a lot more wavy than it usually is. That's how it was in San Antonio as well.

Emily collecting some shells. The small shells that were closed had something living in them, clams perhaps? Anyways, if you set them back down on the wet sand you could see them bury themselves back in! Alex brought a whole bucket of them home, and unfortunatley they all died. He thought he could keep them alive with home-made salt water. Oh well!

Dallin, Kate, Hannah, and Sarah waiting for a wave to come in!

Hanah and Dane got knocked over by this wave! Oh no!


Seth enjoying the sand while sitting in his Bumbo that we got at the thrift shop for $2.98! I don't know if the store knew what they were selling, but I grabbed it. He's much too independent to use it now, but I'm sure someone else would love to have it!

He drug himself off the blanket because he couldn't resist the sand!
We were so glad to have Sarah and Ed and children stay with us! We had so much fun! We loved the beach as well! Camping in the sand takes a little getting use to as I'm use to dealing with dirt and not sand. But it wasn't that bad. Plus they had showere to clean the kids up in before we went home. I loved it and hope to do it again next summer as well!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Growing up

So, Kate decided she wanted another perm. She wants to wear it long and curly. So Sarah and I decided to give the spiral wrapping a try. It actually wasn't all that hard, except for the fact that you use a lot of rods! We had fun. I can't believe how old Kate is getting! This will be her last year in elementary school as middle school starts in the sixth grade here in Maryland.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sure wish Grandpa was around for this!

Dane discovered his top tooth was pretty loose, so he worked on it all evening to get it out. After I had just gone to bed I hear Dane yell to Karsten that he had finally gotten it out! Then he came into my room to show it off.

Coincidently, the same tooth that Dane lost, Seth just got in! And I think we have figured out Seth's fussiness for the past month, excluding teething. Whole milk seems to bother him. His body smells sour and he pukes up a lot. So, we went back to only formula and we are beginning to try out soy milk. We shall see how this goes.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Ok, for my family who has already seen this, yes, I did steal it from Sarah's site. But I love these pictures so much I just had to post them! This is Alex and his cousin Jacob, both special angels in our families. It's so sweet to see them together!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

All's Quiet on the Eastern Front

So, I took Dane in to get a referral for hearing, and they did a simple hearing test, you know, the one where you raise your hand if you hear the tone in your ear, and according to that he hears fine. So, perhaps I'm just a little overly paranoid. Although the doctor did make a few comments that were not true, like a child who has no problem with speech hears just fine. Totally wrong. Anyways, perhaps I'll just let it go and stop worrying. I have noticed that as Dane gets older his mumbling is not as bad and he doesn't say "huh?" as much. Most likely it is nothing.
Last night I spent the night at the hospital with Alex. Who'd of thought that I'd be sleeping at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Weird. He was just having a sleep study done so he can get back on his CPAP machine. And, no doubt, the test showed apnea. No surprise. Already knew this, just needed another sleep study so he could have the correct pressures on his machine. I hate staying at the hospital, espcially if you are NOT the patient becuase your sleeping conditions are even worse! A fold out chair that you cannot fully stretch out on. I guess I know what Todd felt like staying at the hospital with me after I had the children.
Seth seems to be getting so much more aware of his surroundings and doing so many new things. He was in his walker today and watched me go out the kitchen door, go to the garage, and come back in the house. So he heads to the kitchen door and is like running into it trying to figure out how he can get out too! He is so cute!
Alex is at a campout for Scouts with Todd tonight. There is a flash flood watch in effect in the area they are camping. I hope all goes well for them.
We've been having so much fun with Sarah and Ed and their children. It's always great catching up on old times and all, but it's even better when you find their still strong in the gospel! Even more reason to rejoice! Better close for now as I've been up since five a.m. Oh, did I mention we visited the thrift store today? Very fun.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I think I'll side with the Speech Teacher on this one!

Today a Speech Teacher came to visit and do her evaluations on Seth. She is very nice and will be a lot of fun to have around helping to teach us to communicate with Seth. How we'll communicate with Seth is still up in the air as we need to figure out if he's really hearing us or not. His last ABR showed that he has severe to profound hearing loss. With his hearing aids, he'll be able to hear some speech, but not all as hearing aids can only amplify so much. Here's the very encouraging news. She listened to Seth's hearing aids and thought that they weren't set at the right settings. For as little as he can hear, they should be amplifying a lot more than what she was hearing from them. With that being said she also was very surprised at the responses she was getting from him. She commented that with hearing loss as bad as he is suppose to have, he shouldn't be responding the way he does. He has startled several times from unexpected noises in the room! He was sleeping in his swing and Karsten came running in yelling something and Seth startled, in his sleep! I don't think I've ever seen that. And my sister told me tonight that he did the same thing when someone shut the door! We are so excited to see this! And in the speech teacher's opinion, as much as audiologists swear that ABR's are very accurate, she has had clients that out perform what the ABR's are saying. So, we see an audiologist in September and she is going to come with me! I've always felt that Seth could hear better than what the tests were saying, but thought that perhaps it's only wishful thinking. I know he'll never hear perfect, but the more he can hear, the better. Even if we still have to supplement with signing, the more verbal conversation we can get out of him, the better!
On the same hearing note, I'm going to have Dane's hearing tested. Perhaps he is just fine. But the more I've talked to audiologists and speech therapists, the more I wonder if he's got some mild hearing problems. I always thought that it was just who Dane was, his mumbling and his use of the word, "huh?" all the time. I just thought he needed to speak up and pay attention! After finding out that these are signs of hearing loss, I thought it can't hurt just to have him tested. So, we'll see. Tomorrow I go in for a consult with the doctor to have a hearing test ordered. If Dane does have any amount of hearing loss, which I really hope he doesn't, than I'll have all the kids tested, just to be sure. Kate and Karsten I'm not really worried about, but I'd be more suspicious of Emily and perhaps Alex. Anyways, call me paranoid, but oh well.
Alex has a sleep study tomorrow night at Walter Reed. Yippee! I get to sleep in the comfy hospital tomorrow night! I've got a book to read, so that's the only thing I'm looking forward to.
Now, off to the struggle I'm having with Alex's schooling. Argh.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A week full of events!

We've been having a lot of fun lately! Dennis, Sandra, Grant, and Rebecca came for a visit. Dennis dropped off Sandra and Grant at our house and returned a week later to visit for a few days. Rebecca had Girls' Camp as well, so she went back with her dad as well. Sarah and Ed and their children also came to stay with us for a few days while Sandra and Grant were visiting. It was a lot of fun and exhausting! The following are just a few pictures of the things we were able to do.
Our first ride on the Metro. Karsten looks so thrilled.
This is the Metro stop where we got off. It is right on the National Mall. Grant modeling here in this photo for us.

One end of the Mall is the Capitol Building.

The other end is the Washington Monument.

We saw our first protest at the Mall while we were there. Something about democracy in Iran.

The Washington Monument.

This is the Worl War II Memorial.

The Vietnam Memorial.

Here is a majority of us in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Before we took this picture it started raining really hard and we got pretty wet. We took refuge in the Lincoln Memorial until it stopped.

Then we turned around and took a picture with the Washington Memorial in the background.

It was such an exhausting trip for Dane! I think we walked about two and a half miles!

Karsten taking a nap on the Metro ride home.

Sunday night we went to the Washington D.C. temple. It is acutally located in Maryland not too far away from where we live. It's like we're still in Utah having a temple so close!

Karsten and Dallin having a little disagreement with Hannah looking on.

Emily showing off her webkinz.

Grant, Sandra and Dennis's son.

Katie Bug.

Me and my sister, Sarah.

Hannah, Sarah and Ed's little girl.


Jacob, Sarah and Ed's oldest boy. He is so sweet. Alex and Jacob have become really good friends. Jacob is autistic, so I thought he and Alex would just be in their own worlds and not notice each other. But there is something special there, because they are really good friends now. When we go swimming, they swim all over the place with each other. And because of Alex, Jacob decided to try his first piece of pizza! Sarah says this is big deal to Jacob because he usually doesn't try new things. They are so cute when they play together.

Dallin, Sarah and Ed's second son. He is also known as "the original Dallin" as he and Seth share the same first name. Dallin likes to call Seth, Dallin Seth. (Confused?)
Tuesday we went to the zoo. It was very humid that day.

My sister-in-law, Sandra, who avoided the camera on many occasions. We like to take the "-in-law" part out of the relationship and just consider her our sister!
A zoo person telling us about the Cheetahs.

While visiting, Dallin celebrated his seventh birthday with us!

His birthday had a Mario theme to it, so Kate made decorations to match!
We had so much fun with everyone! Sarah and Ed and family left on Friday to head to Florida to visit Ed's family. They will be back to stay with us for two and a half weeks until they head to Japan! They will be living there for a few years!
Dennis and Rebecca returned the next day, Saturday, to visit for the weekend. We all decided to go to Arlington National Cemetary and visit the tomb of the unknown soldier. Again, another hot day.
Karsten's favorite way to ride the Metro, standing up!

Here the kids are riding the longest escalator in North America! It is at the Wheaton Metro stop.

Grant at Arlington National Cemetary.

The tomb of the unknown soldier. It is guarded everyday, all day, rain or shine. During the summer the changing of the guard happens every half hour. In the winter, every hour.