Wednesday, December 31, 2008



Our family is meeting tomorrow with social worker to work it out, and then he is out of there!

as of right now, they believe he will not need 24 hour care. He does have to do therapy-3 days a week and it will be the majority of day-but he can be home alone!! Our parents will have to check in with him during the day and make sure he has easy things to eat etc,

he has re-learned how to do the microwave, so he will make stuff for himself.

He still has his walker and has a long road ahead of him to just recoup the use of his walking skills - His sensory ability is still a bit lower and he still does not have all his right side back, but he is improving.

He has at least a year in front of him....we will not know how bad or how good he is doing for a while. he cannot walk with a cane because his balance is so bad-but he does good with the walker. His right side is still very limited, and he cannot write well.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update on brother and just life

We had such a nice visit today. First off, mom and dad came up yesterday early to meet with some of the team of caregivers taking care of Justin. He was given the diagnosis of severe brain trauma. This was hard to swallow. To look at him in his bed, he looks physically normal and fine. But we are looking at 4 more weeks in the hospital and then more time in a rehabilitation center for an unspecified amount of time.

So what does this diagnosis mean for Justin? He may never drive again. He cannot rodeo. He should not ride horses again. It is iffy about working. He may not fully recover. That is the reality of this.

He has no memory of the time leading up to the accident. His long term memory is still in tact, although he does struggle sometimes getting the right words out. He does still also struggle with recognition of things he knew before the accident.

His short term memory is also intact, but he does forget things easily. Like he forgot that I was there last weekend and it took him a few minutes of thinking before he remembered it.

We had fun today. I spent quite a while down there and he was so happy to see me. I first talked to him this morning on the phone and as the day progressed he kept asking mom "when is Jessica going to be here?" It made me feel good. We talked and joked and had a good time altogether. He is still slow and sometimes hard to understand, but there are moments that the old Justin shines through for that brief second-and it is wonderful.

He is still having trouble with the right side of his body, and he cannot write anything-including his name. 20 years old and he cannot walk without the aid of a walker and has to wear depends. Really fair huh?

So that is it. Some good , some bad. But all to be expected with the extent of his brain injury.

I just love him. No matter what happens or how much he does or does not recover...he is my baby brother. And I am so glad that he is close to me so I can see him.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A few more Christmas things

This is the most beautiful picture....I wish they sold the picture by itself, but you can get it in the calendar too...

sock blockers - size medium for making socks

awesome sewing book

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shawn will be glad to see this

Last year, he loved that I did a Christmas list out here...I actually was just doing it for fun to share things I liked, but he printed it off and went shopping. So here we go again-the best help a husband can get at Christmas time!

Knitpicks Imagination Sock Yarn - color Lost Boys...2 balls needed
or (not and...OR)
Knitpicks Felici Striped Sock Yarn - color Patina...2 balls needed

or any of these colors from this dyer:
Mystic Meadow, Minoan Temple, Westley (only need 1 of these)

or Nimbus from this one

Dashing Dach's in Lobster

an applesaucer for canning next year. (but that can even go on my to buy next year list!)

a puffy vest

some addi needles in sizes: 3.25mm/40cm and 5mm/30cm

still working on it-but he was starting to panic so I figured I better give him something!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

update on my brother

he is starting to open his eyes and become more conscious!

back to that in a minute though-this is what my mom told me.

he is starting to thrash around a lot-the nurses say that is very good but of course it bothers my mom to watch. they had to restrain him big time today because of his thrashing and he kept trying to pull out all the tubes on his chest.

they had his last CT scan yesterday. there is no negative change. they said something about he had reached the 72 hour point and was maxed out and they felt this was a good thing. I don't understand it and they didn't really explain it to my mom-but that is the update on that.

He did OPEN HIS EYES and followed the nurse with his eyes!

they tried giving him a few commands early this morning and he could not follow-but just a little bit ago they tried again to get him to wiggle his toes. he DID IT! in fact, he kept wiggling and kept wiggling until my dad finally had to say "justin, you can stop wiggling now!"

Today when he was thrashing about, my dad asked him a yes/no question and HE NODDED!

huge huge improvement today! and if he continues this, they are releasing him from the ICU this afternoon and moving him to neurology!

thank you thank you thank you ladies for your prayers and positive energy! I truly believe it has helped him!


Monday, November 24, 2008

today's update on Justin and caringbridge site

I went and saw him this morning. They did another CT scan at 3am this morning. The neurosurgeon talked to us today. He is still bleeding in his brain and does still have the swelling.

his body reflexes to some painful stimuli, but not much. they also tried to get him to open his eyes with severe pain (like he pinched him really hard in the chest) several times while demanding in a loud voice that he open his eyes. he finally on the 4th try was able to open them for half a second and then it was gone.

they are still holding off on neurosurgery though. they really want to let his brain try to figure it out on its own and not have to operate-which is risky itself.

he developed a fever last night so they are closely watching him.
he is still having trouble regulating his blood pressure which is to be expected.

He still has not regained consciousness.

I created a CaringBridge Site to try and keep better updated.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

For those following-update on my brother

ok, this is what I know.

he was found this morning at about 7:15 am. His car rolled several times and he was ejected from it. They estimate he lay on the ground for at least 2 hours before he was found. His body was about 30 feet from his car when they found him.

He has not regained consciousness since the accident. They could not life flight him to boise because of the weather so they drove him. He had bleeding in his brain and swelling-but the last CT showed the bleeding was stopped for now.

he had surgery on his leg. He broke his femur and they had to put a rod in. They are very concerned about the risk of clots and an embolism right now. He is intubated and restrained and has a neck collar on.

His body responds to painful stimuli, but he will not respond to verbal commands. He is in the ICU in critical condition.

Girls, I am just so scared. But I am so glad that I could be there. My parents do not understand any of the medical stuff so they kept turning to me when the doctors and nurses came out to talk to them.

I am just washed out. I am exhausted.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. He sure needs them :(

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Mother Letters

so wow. A friend linked me to THIS BLOG today and I was just amazed at what I read.

A husband is putting together this amazing Christmas gift for his wife. He is asking all mothers to send in a letter and he is going to compile a book to give to her..and everyone who sends one in will also get a copy of the letters.

It seriously brought tears to my eyes thinking of something so amazing as reading stories of motherhood from other women all over the world.

You should go participate!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

wow-motrin offends babywearing mom's

you know, if there is one way to totally alienate your target crowd and make yourselves the recipient of a boycott--it is to do what Motrin did over the weekend.
Motrin Insults Babywearing Mom's

Motrin makes mom's mad!

See the Ad Here until they take it down!--(they already took it down! I think we crashed their I fixed it to the link at youtube instead!)

here is the ad verbatim:
Wearing your baby seems to be in fashion.

I mean, in theory it’s a great idea.

There’s the front baby carrier, sling, schwing, wrap, pouch.

And who knows what else they’ve come up with. Wear your baby on your side, your front, go hands free.

Supposedly, it’s a real bonding experience.

They say that babies carried close to the bod tend to cry less than others.

But what about me? Do moms that wear their babies cry more than those who don’t?

I sure do!

These things put a ton of strain on your back, your neck, your shoulders. Did I mention your back?!

I mean, I’ll put up with the pain because it’s a good kind of pain; it’s for my kid.

Plus, it totally makes me look like an official mom.

And so if I look tired and crazy, people will understand why.

can I insert the biggest bout of eyerolling ever here???? screwed up! BIG TIME. You insulted mothers. You didn't do your research. and oh yeah! research contradicts you on what babywearing does!

pie in the face to motrin!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Harrison is 1!

the birth story, written the next day after

so I got a call yesterday asking me to come in . seems they were overbooked and understaffed on wednesday so dr lowder had me come in due to how sick I was.

I had already gotten the kids on the bus but thankfully dh had not left yet for work.

so I called stacy to let her know and started gathering my stuff as quick as I could. I had some moments of panic as I wasn't prepared to go in that soon-I joked with dh that it was almost like going into labor on my own! LOL

Dh went and picked up the kids from school and I kept getting ready and off we went to the hospital. I actually was contracting 10 min apart at that moment-maybe excitement or maybe it was supposed to be my day anyway!

We got here and for some reason I was totally dehydrated and they could not start my IV or draw labs. it took about 45 minutes to successfully get my IV started I look like a pin cushion on my arms.

they finally got results back and started the pit at about 11:15am. man-even at the low dose they were some intense pains and I just remember I would look at Stacy as it started, then close my eyes and breath silently. The nurse thought I wasn't feeling anything because I was so calm--I quickly corrected her on that misconception! LOL

They continued to increase my pit. I started to stress because dr lowder had surgery at 12:00 and I really wanted him there. I think that kept me from progressing at the time. Finally at about 12:45 or so I was at a 5. A little bit later I told stacy "that one felt different" she asked if she should call the nurse and I said "no, let me make sure with another one" it wasn’t a pushing pressure but there was a different sensation.
So 2 more contractions and I said "yeah, we better call her to check me" cause I could tell we were close
she came and checked me and said I was a stretchy 8. "you better call him NOW"
By then the feeling was getting quite intense.
Dr Lowder got there and sat down and they had my feet up in position and I remember asking them/him "are you going to even check to see if I am 10 yet???"
he just looked at me and laughed and said "jessica-the head is RIGHT HERE!!"
I laughed too and he told me to laugh again because it was pushing the baby out!

Harrison Parker was born less than 30 seconds later at 1:11pm
7lb 6oz
20 ¾ inch long
14 ¼ inch head

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

8 years old

I cannot believe she is already 8! We moved to Boise from Twin Falls when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Hannah.

She turned 8 this last week and was baptized over the weekend.

here she is:

So this week has been a lot of contemplation on my part. I am so very grateful that I have the chance to stay home with my children. To see them as they grow and learn and to be a big part of their life. Being a mother is the most important job I could ever have. I am grateful that we live within our means and do not have bills that would force me to get a job and put them in someone else's care. I am grateful to have the support of my husband in all that I do...staying home, running my very part time business and attending school too. I am grateful for the wonderful children I have that are such good kids-especially on the inside where it counts! They are respectful and helpful and a joy to have around. I am grateful for the gospel that teaches me about my role as a mother and how important it is.
I guess this week, I am just grateful for family. for being a mother. for my kids.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

you should be able to click on nthem to see them bigger
Kaitlyn walked with a trick or treat sign since she was a mime and could not talk! LOL

Monday, October 20, 2008

the kids

conner: number 74-2 seconds later he took this kid down!

kaitlyn before the big hair cut!

Harrison, future computer geek??

or shampoo model???

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You have to love midterms

Even with 7 kids, sports and running a business from my home, I managed to get good grades for midterms.
I currently have a B in Psychology, A in Law and Justice and A in Biology. I have no idea what I am getting in Patterns of Criminal Behavior as my teacher can not seem to get her head out of the clouds and grade papers..but what can you do?
Things are insanely busy around here. We are doing another huge group purchase on our yarn from my store Nurturing Threads so I will be mixing up a lot of dye in the coming weeks!
We finally got all our autumn decorations up today. It is amazing how much joy that brings me. This is my favorite time of year and I could just sit here and look around at all the beautiful autumn colors with my scentsy tart warmer going with a smile on my face.
well, until just now when Shawn started cooking bacon and EWWW that is the nasty smell! LOL
Just 16 more days till elections. I am so excited this year. I feel this time we have an actual chance at not getting stuck with a pile in the white house. Lets keep our fingers crossed *smile*

We went to Kathryn Albertson park yesterday and had family pictures done. The scenery was gorgeous and we hopefully got some good shots! I arranged for the photographer that did our family photos in June to come up and do my parenting group so she was here all day and did a wonderful job. Everyone was really impressed and things went smoothly.

Well, bacon I will be back some other time

Monday, October 13, 2008

quick fly by post

thank you to everyone that did my survey for psychology! I had enough participants and my paper is on its way!

Kids are doing good. Kaitlyn finished up cross country Friday and Conner has his playoff game for football tomorrow night. Hannah just got invited to the enrichment class at school-which we are assured is not acceptance into the gifted program, but they will do that screening next year *smile*

Lexie and Bella are good. Lexie loves school and is reading all the time. Bella is just my little sweetheart. Her and Harrison sure do make me smile during the day. Harrison is walking all over the place. He started walking 3-4 weeks ago and then just started standing on his own and he is off and going everywhere! he has also learned how to call people on Shawn's cell phone! LOL so if you get a call from us that is a hang up or you just hear a lot of nose--sorry! it is harrison

just a quick picture for the upcoming election. it gave me a good giggle

Friday, September 26, 2008

Help Jessica with her psychology term project/paper

Please take this quick anonymous survey. It takes less than 15 seconds.

Thank you! I need men and women to answer

Friday, September 19, 2008

In honor of my 200th post

The pirate speaks, Just a smartly note t' say hi! In honor o' me 200th post and me bucko Patsy on Talk like a Pirate day, I decided t' give a few words that would make old Captain Jack proud.

All be good at home. I canned 7 quarts o' peaches tonight. That scurvy dog man o' mine kept tryin' t' steal them and eat them- he needs t' be thrown in t' stocks..ARRRR!

well me buckos, thar be not much more I can write in this language, so off t' bed with ya

oh yeah, and have some rum and stuff!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

100lb of peaches and 25lb nectarines...

Whew! Was I tired yesterday!

I went to the u-pick orchards with friends and we came home with a huge lot. the peaches were free as it was the LDS orchard and they were gleaning. I had Harrison on my back in an ergo...and sling bucket on my side crawling up ladders picking peaches! It was truly picture worthy. then we stopped at the orchard next door and I got 25 lbs of nectarines for $10

I have jars and got my book to learn how to can.

I think I bit off more than I can chew! LMBO

here are the nectarines I canned today...first time ever! LOL

I couldn't figure out how to get more in the jar without mushing them (I just shook it around to help them settle down in there more)-so there seems to be a lot of space at the bottom
and the first jam I have ever canned: roasted apple butter and kiwi jam

I think this could be addictive! There are so many great recipes out there. The problem is all the stores and all the thrift stores around here are TOTALLY OUT of jars and other canning supplies!
I really want to get one of these for next year so I can do applesauce, pear sauce etc

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain and Palin's health insurance plan

this astounds me. truly astounds me. how McCain and Palin can even think this is ok....
From the NY independent study was conducted concerning the McCain-Palin health care plan...this is some excerpts below

These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families. A study coming out Tuesday from scholars at Columbia, Harvard, Purdue and Michigan projects that 20 million Americans who have employment-based health insurance would lose it under the McCain plan.

For starters, the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on

The net effect of the plan, the study said, “almost certainly will be to increase family costs for medical care.”

and then:

Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance

Really Mr Goodman?? Really?? So instead of having insurance, people should go to the ER for medical care-get charged 4-5 times that of what they would pay in the doctors office, and then if they can't pay for it...depend on the hospital to write it off? or get sued for non-payment...or heck,lets just declare bankruptcy.
yup-that sounds like health insurance to me!

Brilliant plan. Truly brilliant.

Knock knock
who's there?
McCain who?
just another scary man behind a mask as Scooby Doo would say

Monday, September 15, 2008

Top 5

Got a call from Kaitlyn's cross country coach on Friday. She was asking my permission to enter Kaitlyn into the Bob FirmanInvitational this next week. From what I understand-it is a huge meet! 5-6 states are involved. they only send the top 5 kids from each team-and Kaitlyn is one of them!
Of course I said yes! She will have fun. And it is local to us so we can go watch.

Go Kaitlyn!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lots on the plate

Wow, there is just so much going on!

First off, we all started school! Shawn and I included. Doing pretty good so far. Knee deep in chapters and quizes and a biology research paper.

We were able to go down to Twin Falls to see the family. As you read before, my grandfather is not doing so well. We celebrated him and grandma's 60th wedding anniversary and family came from all over.

Here are a few pictures.

Grandpa and his brother Pete

My Uncle Stan and his toy!

My mom (the red head) and her grandma and grandpa

Me and my crew of motley cousins
(oh yeah, and my stinker little brother in the cowboy hat!)

and my there any doubt she is related to me?

Conner has started football and Kaitlyn cross country. They are loving it and have had a few games already.

Conner and Noah both got bounced up into accelerated Math due to their ISAT scores (conner's was high enough to graduate) and Noah is also in accelerated reading.

Shawn is busy with school and work and I am trying to keep it all pulled together.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

People never fail to amaze me

I came across this article which was about a very mean obituary printed in a paper/online paper in California

It was later pulled because it was so "mean". However, I think it is due to all the backlash that came about.
Seems the paper did indeed verify the woman's death before they ran the obituary-but then it was decided ... well, that it was just mean and pulled it, especially considering the guest book that got over 200 signatures of cruel nature.

So here it is-the entire thing. The obituary of Dolores Aguilar

Dolores Aguilar
1929 - Aug. 7, 2008

Dolores Aguilar, born in 1929 in New Mexico, left us on August 7, 2008. She will be met in the afterlife by her husband, Raymond,her son, Paul Jr., and daughter, Ruby.

She is survived by her daughters Marietta, Mitzi, Stella, Beatrice, Virginia and Ramona, and son Billy; grandchildren, Donnelle, Joe, Mitzie, Maria, Mario, Marty, Tynette, Tania, Leta, Alexandria, Tommy, Billy, Mathew, Raymond, Kenny, Javier, Lisa, Ashlie and Michael; great-grandchildren, Brendan, Joseph, Karissa, Jacob, Delaney, Shawn, Cienna, Bailey, Christian, Andre Jr., Andrea, Keith, Saeed, Nujaymah, Salma, Merissa, Emily, Jayci, Isabella, Samantha and Emily. I apologize if I missed anyone.

Dolores had no hobbies, made no contribution to society and rarely shared a kind word or deed in her life. I speak for the majority of her family when I say her presence will not be missed by many, very few tears will be shed and there will be no lamenting over her passing.

Her family will remember Dolores and amongst ourselves we will remember her in our own way, which were mostly sad and troubling times throughout the years. We may have some fond memories of her and perhaps we will think of those times too. But I truly believe at the end of the day ALL of us will really only miss what we never had, a good and kind mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I hope she is finally at peace with herself. As for the rest of us left behind, I hope this is the beginning of a time of healing and learning to be a family again.

There will be no service, no prayers and no closure for the family she spent a lifetime tearing apart. We cannot come together in the end to see to it that her grandchildren and great-grandchildren can say their goodbyes. So I say here for all of us, GOOD BYE, MOM.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Freaky moment, and lesson learned ie car windows

so today I get an email that my library book I requested from out of state is in. I decide to take the kids to the park and swing by the library and then come home

I get all the kids dressed and we load up in the van and take off. A few minutes later I hear the kids screaming.


me: "what? what" starting to panic

kids: "ahhhh" "theres a caaaaaaaa" "ahhhh" more screams.

I am seriously panicing and look in the rearview mirror and see this freaking CAT crawling up and over Noan and it starts sprinting to the front of the van

*insert kids still screaming bloody murder" you'd have thought they were in danger or something

so the danged cat comes on the left side of the van, up and over my seat, over my shoulder and lodges itself in the front windshield with its claws firmly implanted in my leg


I am screaming in pain, the kids are screaming still in fear...and yelling at me to get it out! and I am swerving to the side of the road to try figure this out

I pull over. and I am sitting there "get it out!" "open the door" more screams

my leg-still hurting from the claws dug in. I am thinking at that moment, crap- how do I get it to let go of me and get out?

SO i open the door and he is laying on it partially so his body starts to go with it...he finally lets go and takes off out of the van and runs about 6 houses down the road before he turns around and looks back at us.

the screaming-blessedly stops

I don't know who was more scared...the kids or the cat wondering what the heck all the screaming was for!

oh yeah-and the only thing we can figure is that it got in the van last night before the storm hit and we closed the now I am going to have to start looking for animal poop - oh JOY! not!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Some new longies for my little man

so I am being super prepared and getting the fall/winter knitting done- well, not done but at least started now!

Here are Harrison's newest longies . Blue and brown peace fleece. they are a bit long, but should last him a while. They go down over his feet and he kind of freaked out and was trying to rip them off his toes at first! I guess he inherited his mama's penchant for NOT covering her toes! LOL

Monday, August 04, 2008

How do you prepare to say goodbye?

This is a really hard post for me. But I am hoping that by typing it out and getting it off my chest, maybe I can start to deal with it.

To give some background first:

I never grew up with a dad. My biological father left my mom when she was pregnant with me. I found out just a few years ago that he is 100% mentally disabled according to the government in relation to his service in I understand now.

But I didn't know that as a child.

I grew up feeling abandoned by my father and wondering what was so wrong with me that he didn't want anything to do with me.

My mom-she is wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better relationship with a parent. We lived in California until I was 16. When all the other kids were sneaking out, drinking, partying etc...I wasn't. My mom knew that she could utterly trust me to be a good person...and I was.

This brings me to my hard part.

The only real father figure I had growing up was my grandpa. He was always there for me. my grandparents were always there and helped to raise me. The closeness we have is wonderful. Even knowing my real dad now, my grandpa WAS for all intents and purposes my dad growing up.

A few years ago, my grandfather had a stroke. My grandma didn't take him in until the next day and as a result, he did not get TPA which could have helped to reverse some of the affects.

Following his stroke, he really struggled. He is a very proud man. He had a hard time walking and talking clearly. He recognized that his body failed him and he gave up. He just seemed to throw his hands in the air and decided that life was not worth living anymore.

He started smoking again. He stopped doing fun stuff. He mopes around.

For 2 years he has done this...and now-he is having strokes again and they don't know how much longer he has left.

How do I prepare to say goodbye to this wonderful wonderful man who was my father growing up? The man that I admire so much and look up to and love so deeply?

I am 2 hours away. and all I want is to be there with them. To help my grandma take care of him as his body fails and he looses control of his functions. To be there to hold her when she cries and to hug him as he accepts what is coming.

I don't know that I can do this.

Just days after his first stroke:

Please Heavenly Father, please make his time left here good. Let him be free of pain. Let him have some joy. Let me have just one more time at least to see him and put my arms around him and let him know how much I love him.
And please bless my grandma-that she will have the strength to physically and emotionally deal with all that is coming.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

baking frenzie

I found a great book the other day about making your own baby food...not your regular recipes either!

Today I decided that it was time to get things made. It was the complete and utter destroy my kitchen in the process day.

For Harrison I made:
peas, potatoes and leeks
blueberries and chicken
mango and chicken (his favorite!)
along with massur dal and carrots with jasmine rice from the other day

for the family we made:
1 loaf regular bread
1 loaf cinnamon raison bread
pumpkin muffins
HOMEMADE YOGURT..yes, I did it!

and we still have coming:
pumpkin bread and more regular bread

the house smells so good. now we just have to reclean it! LOL

You know what I LOVE

Toxic People suck


**edited original version. it felt good to get it out, but now it is time to delete it**

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You must have a strong stomach for this one

Please be aware that I am warning you - this was difficult to read.

I opened my main email page tonight and saw a story about 9 people being charged in the death of a 14 year old girl that wasted away until she died. Included in those 9 people were the state welfare workers that were supposed to be keeping track of her.
Danieal Kelly's emaciated body was found in her mother's squalid house covered with bone-deep, maggot-infested bedsores in August 2006

Andrea Kelly refused to get her daughter food, water and medical treatment, and also repeatedly prevented one of her other children from calling an ambulance "for his obviously dying sister"

So this led me on a journey to read more about her, because as a mother it horrified me to read what had happened to her and how it had been allowed to happen to her.

It brought me to this website that tracks deaths related to state facilites, foster care etc. I made the mistake of reading every single one of them. It made me ill.

Some of the causes of death :
  • Students say staff sat on Isaiah for three hours until he passed out and died.
  • A review of Kyle's death by Alberta's Justice Department says the guards pushed the boy, whose legs were in shackles and who was handcuffed, against the elevator door, the door opened, and Kyle fell to his death. Police investigated his death, but no charges were laid
  • (3 year old boy) He was wrapped in a blanket then taped to a high chair and left alone for two days while his foster family went out of town. When they returned, he was dead. They burned his body.
  • Restrained in a straitjacket and held facedown on a bed, vomited, and choked to death while two staff continued to hold him down
  • Death resulting from rebirthing
  • Died after allegedly being forced to exercise at the facility after they were told he had an enlarged heart and should not participate in such activities
  • Autistic and mentally retarded boy was restrained by 6 people who sat on his back. This occurred on his second day at the group home.

Most of these cases - no one was punished. I don't understand a society where we still punish the victims more than we punish the perpetrators.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Our 15 minutes of Fame....

So, a few months ago we heard of a model search for the remodel of St. Alphonsus Medical Centers "family center"
From the search:

The Center has been approved for a makeover by some grants that were given to encourage family and diversity. One of the ways the hospital can incorporate this in their overhaul is by having photographs of different children, parents and families displayed throughout the center

So I entered Harrison as they were specifically looking for a blonde hair blue eyed baby and we were chosen!

This last Monday we got to go for our photo session to be displayed around the hospital area that is being remodeled. Tonight we saw that one of the boys pictures made it to the photographers blog

Come see the boys!

I cannot wait to go and see our family photos around!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

PCOS-do you know what it is?

After a discussion with a good friend of mine today, I realized I have not actually talked about PCOS with anyone lately, and definitely not here on my blog.

So what is PCOS?
PCOS-Polycystic Ovary Syndrome it is just an ovary thing?
N0- it is sometimes said to actually be misnamed as many women do NOT have any problems with their ovaries.

But I am not fat. I can't have PCOS
yes, you can. Not all women with PCOS are overweight. Not every woman's symptoms are the same. There are quite a few skinny women diagnosed with the disorder.

But I have children. PCOS women cannot have babies.

Not true. Infertility is certainly a symptom of PCOS, but many women can and do have children with PCOS

My doctor said I don't have it. He must know what he is talking about.
Sadly, many doctors are not educated on PCOS and fail to see the bigger picture of linking all the problems together.

Common signs of PCOS. You do not have to have ALL of these symptoms to be diagnosed!
*Irregular or absent menses
*Numerous cysts on the ovaries in many, but not all, cases
*High blood pressure
*Elevated insulin levels, Insulin Resistance, or Diabetes
*Excess hair on the face and body
*Thinning of the scalp hair (alopecia)
*Weight Problems or obesity that is centered around your mid section

Sound familiar at all? I didn't even know what PCOS was until the week before I was diagnosed. that has been 8 years ago now. The doctors I had seen for 4 years before that never suspected nor tested me for it.

Take the quiz to check your symptoms!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ugh-it is that time again

can you believe the kids go back to school in 29 days???

and then I start 1 week later. *EEK*

so what time is it that I am so ho-hum about?? school shopping! I really despise having to buy new clothes for the kids. They are so hard to fit with their skinny bodies and long legs...and it seems like with this "almost recession" that everything is at least doubling in price.

Conner is leaving tomorrow for his trek to martins cove. He is really excited. And tomorrow is Shawn's birthday. he will be 36!

you know, I just had a brain fart and totally forgot my point in coming out to blog today, so I will end it, post it, and try to remember and come back later! LOL

Monday, July 07, 2008

Back to knitting

man, it felt so good to pick up my needles and ignore my sewing machine!
Kind of like an old friend that has come home-to my hands!

I went out to Ravelry tonight. (and for all you yarnies, if you don't know what ravelry is--lets just say it is the best invention on the internet ever! and you must go now and sign up!) anyway, out on ravelry tonight and found so many projects I want to start working on. In my queue (which if you are not a member, you can not view) I have several sweaters I want to do. I think I am going to get the yarn dyed up to make Harrison the Tulip Sweater I will of course be dying the yarns in boyish colors geared towards the fall, but it is the one I am most looking forward to doing!

I also have the Wonderful Wallaby ready to go. It is an adorable hoody for the kids! You can do an adult version too, but I just am not ready to buy that many balls of yarn! LOL

My fingers are itching to cast on a new project. I finished a custom order diaper cover soaker and now I am just waiting...waiting to hear my fingers talk and tell me which needles to chose and which project to start.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

whew ! stash game is over and the boys are coming home!

all in all, I ended up with:
106 3/4 yards sewn
36 yards donated to charity
purchased only 2 yards

total stash depletion was 166 3/4 yards!
In the last 6 months, I have sewn, sold, traded or trashed over 300 yards of fabric!

Or course, I am still in denial about the 5 boxes of fabric in the garage. Luckily, I don't hear it calling to me anymore as it is really burried out there!

This is one of my prize items made: my new diaper bag!

modeled after Erika's style. This type of bag has been a favorite design of mine for a long time, I just never saw it with a pocket until I saw hers!

The applique is a free clip art I got when I googled mother nature.

It fits 12 cloth diapers,and my changing pad. with a wet bag, I could get probably 10 diapers and the changing pad. of course, if I was just shoving stuff in instead of setting it in neatly, it would fit more!

on navy blue corduroy

The boys will be home tonight. I am excited to see them. Their plane was late leaving so they got stuck in san francisco for 4 hours! I imagine conner was wanting to run around and play Monk, but alas, they got the boys a room so they are settled in and waiting.

Coconut bread just came out of the oven. It smells great...and I have Harrison crawling everywhere and chasing the vacuum as I try to clean. Good times I tell ya!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

starting on my christmas knitting for family

I am getting ready to start my knitting for the family for Christmas

I think I am going to do some cute dishcloths to match kitchens for some.
a few pairs of longies for Harrison.
a doll or animal for the kids

But the most exciting project of all is for my dear brothers - inlaw

the pattern is originally to make a blanket, but I am going to do hats instead.

I think it is great that they will have Obama's sign of hope to share with everyone around them..........
gotcha peter and james!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

a catch up post

I can't believe how busy I have been!

First off-new recipe to review.

Spicy Thai Jasmine Rice from Vegan Planet
This was a GREAT meal! Shawn took his first bite and said HECK YEAH! It was flavorful enough to satisfy him, but not so spicy that me and the kids could not eat it. Even Harrison chowed down on it!
We give this one a 10 and will definitely eat it again!

The boys are gone right now. They are in California with my dad. It has been very weird without them home. They will be gone a total of 2 weeks.

I am just busy getting all my stuff ready for school. I am starting again in August, but doing it from home so I can still be with the kids. I am pretty excited to finish my degree.

I have been busy sewing for our local stash game. I won't post it all here, but you can check it out at my crafty blog..I don't keep it as updated, but I try! LOL

Friday, June 06, 2008

Off for a week!

for the anual family vacation.

when we get back, then it will be time for birthday season to start. Isabella will be 4 this month and Kaitlyn will be 11!

Then July is Noah who will be 10

August-Alexis will be 6!

September , I will have a teenager...Conner will be 13

October, Hannah will be 8 and ready for baptism.

November, Harrison will be 1 *sniff*

sigh, it goes by so fast.

See ya next week!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Busy Busy

ok, first off, review of the dinner last night.

Vegan Succotash was a HUGE success! I was really surprised at how good it turned out. It was full of great veggies, the house smelled sooo good and the seasoning was just light enough to not burn your tongue, but still flavorful enough to really enjoy it.

I would recommend it any day.

Things are rocking busy here. I whipped up a bunch of skirts for the girls today and started making my new knitting bag. I already completed my new knitting needle roll for my knitpicks options needles and am really liking it. Will post pictures later

Here is the new quilt I made for Harrison. I am so in love with it. 10 appliques, a gazillion squares and rectangles and a lovely tribute to nature


]a new purse-the lotus bag

and some lovely bamboo velour that I dyed that will be going into Harrison's goldfish quilt for his bedroom


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Men are so stubborn

You know, I think they sometimes just don't have a clue! LOL
Shawn is like a little boy in the store sometimes. He just wants to get everything, and of course-I have to be the voice of reason aka..the mean one. This is how our last few weeks have gone:
"lets get XYZ"
"no, we have to save our money for vacation"
hours later....
"lets go get this"
"uh, no...we still have to save our money for vacation"
LOL-geez...and then, he is sick (as we all are) and probably has an ear infection. I think he should be seen as he is in so much pain. But he refuses to spend the money to do that.

I don't get it! He will spend money on frivilous stuff but not a necessary item like doctors visit and medication.

hmmm-men are really weird! LOL
and maybe he will read my blog today and see how serious I am about him getting checked *wink*

So the kids are out of school. They all did so good. Straight-A's for Conner, Kaitlyn and Noah. Hannah met all her benchmarks (which is the equivalent of an A) and Alexis passed everything. She had her kindergarten graduation last week and we were very surprised to run into some old friends from our old ward in Boise..the Farnsworth's. That was nice as we had not seen them in about 4-5 years!

With the summer here and the busy nature of what we will be doing-I of course have decided to take on even more here at home and with the business! LOL will I never learn?

Due to the economy and the rise in gas and grocery prices, we will not be going anywhere that is not necessary. To fill the van with gas gives me a panic attack! And I cannot believe how our grocery bill has increased just since January. At least 30%! So in order to fight this we are changing again our meal plans, taking out more meat and doing even more healthy eating with whole grains etc.
My goal is to try 2 new recipes a week. I went through all my vegetarian and vegan cookbooks and make a notebook cataloging which recipes we would like to try so that when it comes time to make a meal plan for the week, I can just pull out the book and choose a few instead of having to sit down and go through ALL my cookbooks. I think this will save us a lot of time, and I plan on reviewing the recipes out here on my blog.

So tonight is Vegan Succotash from The Voluptous Vegan. I will let you know how it is later :)

I also am going to learn to make yogurt! I don't like the kids eating the store brands because they are SOO full of sugar that they are really not all that healthy. So I am on a mission - along with my friend Jessica - to make our own yogurt!

ok-I haven't been as busy knitting as my local parenting group is doing a fabric stash game...basic idea is sew as much as you can from your fabric stash--and don't buy any more fabric! I have made a few great things already including a gorgeous nature quilt for Harrison. I will share pictures later.

But before I is Harrison's latest picture.

the kid is starting to crawl forward and can get himself into a sitting position on his own. Where did my baby go?

on his knees, ready to go

just saying HI!


Friday, May 23, 2008

I am starting early!

So Christmas is just 6 months away. I have started early..which you kind of have to do with 7 kids!
I am collecting handmade stuff for the kids as gifts. I have a good selection so far.

I got a Hooty Hoot! from Pam at The Indigo Onion for Harrison
I got a beautiful dyed playsilk for him too

I got some doll Mei Tai carriers for the girls
and I think that is it for now? But it is a start. I have several crafty swaps coming up and will get more items for them then. So I have a good jump on it!

We have just 1 week left of school here! I cannot believe it is almost done! Conner had his last Academic Bowl meet this week, which they won! That puts them in first place overall, I believe out of the whole state? Anyway, very exciting stuff!

I've been pretty busy with sewing and knitting at home..and we are still slowly working on the changes in the house.

Harrison is almost 7 months old now. He is 16lb 13 oz and 26 inches long...puts him in the 25th percentile...which I figured as all of our kids are quite tiny!

Thats is for now :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So I missed church Sunday

because Harrison was so sick. When Shawn got home he says to me : I got called into the bishops which I of course said in a smart aleck way..."what did you do???"

he said *I* didn't do anything.
uh oh..."what did I do???"
ok, what did Conner do??? LOL
I figured by process of elimination I would get there eventually.
So..Conner has a calling in church now! He is in the Deacon's quorum presidency.
of course, not growing up in the church, I have NO idea what this means for him or what he will be doing now, but I guess I will learn.

So today was busy. I sewed a few baby gifts for a big swap we are doing on one of my message boards. Stacy and I sorted the boxes tonight and we had a lot of fun. I have some new yarn coming in the mail and I will be taking it with me to Red Fish when we go.

Harrison got a swimming pool this weekend and he loves it! that kid is such an outside boy! He just plays and plays. He has started trying to stand up...he doesn't want to crawl at all...he just wants to get up and walk!

School is almost out. Conner's last academic meet is tomorrow. the kids are done the next Friday. I can't believe the year has gone by so fast.

ok..knitting...the latest longies and a new bag-the bag IS straight, it is just laying all funky in the picture and I was too tired to go fix it in order to take a new picture.

the yarn is dyed by Juicy Pear colorway. Black Berry Ridge wool yarn.



Wednesday, May 14, 2008

There are days that the kids

make me so proud!
Yesterday, the kids came home from school and played outside as usual. A little while later, Kaitlyn and Noah came to me and said they wanted to go clean up a neighbors yard. There is a house on our road that has been empty for at least 6 months. We don't know if the owners are the ones that were there and left or what the deal is...but it is not being taken care of.

So they decided it would be good to go clean it. Noah thought it would be good for the environment *wub* but they wanted it done.

so they took off with big bags and started pulling the huge dead stuff out of all the plants. They cleaned up garbage. Tonight, they are going back to mow the lawn and use the weedwacker on the weeds.
All on their own. I am so proud of them for seeing a need and giving this service. I must be teaching them something right! :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

wow-to catch up

It seems my life is like that a lot lately. Lag behind and then have to hurry and catch up on everything. Some might say "you just had a baby." Some might say "you have 7 kids!" Some might say "you are just busy." But I say it is just because I am so tired of everything and have no drive to get anything done.

so quick update as best as I can.

We've finally started making changes in the house. We had moved Kaitlyn into my office (after I purged about 60 yards of fabric!!!) and then had decided to split the bonus room into 2 bedrooms. one for Bella and Lexie and one for Harrison with moving hannah in with Kaitlyn.

After talking about it and realizing that the girls would not get to play in their room as much with Harrison on the other size due to noise level, Kaitlyn decided it would be better to split the bonus room into a bedroom for her and then one for the other 3 girls..(the larger side) and to give Harrison the bedroom she was in. So we painted and got all his stuff moved up there and I am still working on decorating in there.

Now Kaitlyn cannot decide if she wants her own room or if she wants to share with Hannah. We have allowed he to make this decision on her own, so she is taking her time and weighing the good and bad about it. Once she decides , we will put up a faux wall and re-tape and texture and paint in there and then get them all moved. We may wait until June when the boys are gone to do will be easier then.

Conner made it to districts in track. I am so very proud of him. I got to se him in his local meet a few weeks ago and he looked so good! He won his 100 meter dash heat. It was great. ... but I am so glad track is over right now! LOL
Yesterday, he came home and told us a girl asked him to go the end of the year dance with her!
It has started already. Pretty scary! LOL
Kaitlyn is ending her days at elementary school and will be going into middle school in August. She is pretty excited. She has been atttending a bunch of "girl parties" lately as all her friends are doing. the last was a hawaiian luau.

The rest of the kids are good. Harrison is growing and he needs to slow down. I want my baby back. He is sitting and trying to stand. I am about to box up all his 3-6 months shirts and am so sad. He still wears his 3-6 month pants though so I can hang on to those for a bit longer!

Shawn is busy with work. And I am just trying to decide if I want to start school this fall or next. I have a wonderful opportunity for full coverage of my tuition and books so I have to decide what program/school.

ITT has a great computer forensics program and the College of Idaho has a Crime in Society minor that I am trying to decide between. They each have their pro's and con's. If I choose ITT I could start earlier as it is an online program and I would not have to be away from the kids while they are young-and that is a very important consideration. Bella doesn't go to kindergarten until next I keep going back and forth trying to decide.

Either way, I am very excited to have this chance.

I've still been knitting up a storm. Just no pictures to show right now.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Knitting-and green eggs and ham

So I guess being phone less and internet less for a few days did me good! I got a lot of knitting done. It was a very good feeling when I got back online and shared the photos with online "Friends" and was told "you are really talented"

I have never felt that way about myself. In my church we hear a lot that we should develop our talents and share them. I always joke with my husband that the only talent I have is birthing babies and my doula work. I always feel so inadequate around the other ladies in my church because not only do I not really have a talent like they go-but I am the oddball that did not grow up in the church so I still do not know all that everyone else does.

So to hear someone say they think I have talent..well, it did bring me to tears. That really meant a lot to me. It is nice to be recognized by others-especially when you don't see it in yourself.

So on to the knitting:
Before-these were the yarns I dyed up


and after:


my new colorway: Monkey Boy...started as perfection pants then just kind of morphed from there. on BBR Yarn


Another new colorway, on BFL yarn, LTK soaker


Moose shorts---peace fleece yarn

ribby for Windy-a baby shower gift.


UFO ribby finished finally-not pictured individually.

Do you like green eggs and ham???


Harrison does! he's sam I am


This is something I crocheted for him on my own. I started with a pattern for the egg and kind of winged it as I went. The ham is totally my own. This is his favorite story to listen to

Today is World Autism Awareness Day. This means so much more to me now that Noah has been officially diagnosed. If you don't know much about autism, I would urge you to take a few minutes and just familiarize yourself with it. It is more prevalent then most people know.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Noah had a follow up with his doctor today. (this was the newer doctor, the one that only saw him for one phase of his neuro psych testing)

besides the brain injury, neurogenic irritability and hyperactive response etc....

We officially have the diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder...aspergers.

He is also showing some signs of having some Tics-but he doesn't think it is a sign of OCD.

we switched his medication because his other was making him gain so much weight.

I walked out to the van after the appointment and just started crying. I didn't want to have this. I didn't want him labeled. I didn't want this diagnosis.

We discussed the possibility of repeating all his neuropsych testing to see where we are at-if any different than 3 years ago or if a different consensus would come up with the team where before the one doctor (not the one we saw today) was so set with one theory of what was wrong with him

He also seriously needs to undergo physical therapy as his one leg is very off when he walks...I can't even describe how bad his leg is, but you don't notice so much because his body compensates for it

I don't know what else to think at this point. I just want to curl up and cry and process it all, but then I am trying to not let him see how upset I am.

we knew there was a chance this would happen...I just didn't believe it would actually come to this.

The only good was the knowledge that whatever happened to him in-utero (stroke or whatever) did not show any brain damage on his thank God for that.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

hooking and cooking

so here is Harrison's completed blanket. This is my first time doing a crochet blanket!
and of course, it just happens to be another rainbow!

no specific pattern for this...I just did a granny square ( a larger one) and figured out on my own how to hook it all together. there are many errors! I learned not to watch tv while doing these as I tended to either add extra's or leave some out! LOL but I did it. I learned to do some crochet. and I love it!

and as a side shot...these are the pretzels we made today thanks to my friend!