Friday, May 29, 2009

Goodbye Bennion Elementary

Yesterday was my last day as a 1st grade reading teacher at Bennion Elementary. What a blessing and joy this job has been this year. My plan at the beginning of the year was to work just Tuesdays and Thursdays for the whole school day helping out in 1st and 6th grade. But a few weeks into school, we realized that the first grade classes were HUGE so the teachers and principal asked if I could change my schedule to four days a week and just teach a 1st grade reading class. It was perfect! Max would be in preschool 3 of the days and then I had some neighbors babysit Mason on those days. My mom took care of Wednesday for me and also drove Max to preschool each day. Some how it all worked out. I went in at 8:30 each morning and was done by 11:30. I never had to work on a Friday (or early days). So it was the perfect arrangement and a perfect job! This is my class of 1st graders. They were the middle reading group, so they were pretty easy to teach. I had a few "naughty" boys, but we seemed to work it out. It was really fun to watch their progress in reading. When I got them at the beginning of the year, most of them were still learning all the sounds of the alphabet. But by the end of the year, they were all reading on level, it not above. That is really fun to watch happen.
This job was just the best opportunity for me. I got the best of both worlds. I could be a teacher, which I love, but then I could come home and just be a Mom, which I also love. I know Heavenly Father has been making it possible for me to continue doing a job I love, while at the same time, letting me be home to raise my children. The extra money I brought in has also been a great blessing for our family. I don't know if Bennion will be able to let me come back next year to do anything, what with all the budgets being cut and everything, but I am grateful that I had this year. Goodbye my cute little first graders!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mason is AWESOME!

I have said that I would rather have 8 newborn babies at one time than potty train one more kid, and seriously, I mean it. I've been working with Mason now for months getting him used to the potty and all that and he's understood for a while now how it all works. I told him that when Miles comes, that he would have to give all his diapers to him and he totally got that. I knew that I could not have two children in diapers at the same time or I would go insane. So this Memorial Weekend, since we were pretty much home the whole time, I thought, "Why not just go for it." So Thursday was day one of no more diapers and just underwear. 4 accidents. Friday was 2 accidents, and Saturday and Sunday were 0 accidents. We had a little relapse on Monday with 2 poopy accidents, but today we are back down to 0 accidents. Holy Cow you don't know how excited I am!!!! He even has stayed dry every night and I've taken him to many places and all has been well. If any of you are interested in the strategy I used, email me and I'll let you know. But I could not be happier to have this tackled before Mile's arrival. YEAH!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brace Face and Peg Leg

Mike and I would like to show off our new accessories we acquired this past Tuesday. Mike went back in for his follow-up visit and instead of coming away with a "boot" the doctor gave him this lovely cast instead. Because of the severity of Mike's injury and how much they had to fix, the surgeon wanted to keep it more stable. So Mike will have this cast for 4 weeks! AHHHHH! So that means four more weeks of crutches and not being able to do too much.Can you imagine how not white this will be after 4 weeks. Yuck! If your lucky, maybe he'll let you sign it though. This is a picture of me on Tuesday morning before going in to see the orthodontist.

This is me today with my new accessory, BRACES! (Not the most flattering picture, but it was the best Max could do.) Anyway, my Dad works for this place called Ultradent. They make all sorts of dental products. A year ago, he found out he could get his children braces for only $500. Well a year ago that sounded great to me, but it has taken this long to get all the information and ex rays and finally an appointment to get them done. (Let's remember that I am now almost 9 months pregnant too). My dad also said he would pay for them since he felt bad he couldn't get them for me as a kid. So I went in on Tuesday and on they went. I went home and felt like the girl on the TV show "Ugly Betty" and also about 14 years old. They don't hurt too bad, but are just uncomfortable and hard to eat with. I don't have the bottom ones on yet because I have an overbite and if he put them on now I would be biting on metal. So we'll work on the top ones for a while and get the bottom ones on later. I'm having second thoughts as to if this was the right thing to do, but now they're on and there's really no going back. I am hoping in a year or so that it will all be worth it and I'll have the beautiful teeth I've always hoped for.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Max is a graduate!!

Congratulations to Max! He graduated from preschool yesterday. He has been attending Jacque's Preschool this year and has loved every minuted of it. They put on the cutest program last night with songs and poems. Max was absolutely adorable and sang his heart out.
I love that Max towers over the other kids. He is at least a head taller than everyone. It made it really easy to get some good video and pictures of him. Not that I am biased or anything, but Max was the cutest kid up there! (The fact that he had just lost one of his front teeth made him even more adorable!)
At the end of the program, they showed a video of the whole year. The last song they put on was a song by Micheal McLean called "Together Forever." That must have touched Max's heart, because when I gathered him up and hugged him, he just started crying. It was so sweet. I asked him why he was crying and he just said how much he would miss Preschool. He is such a social, sweet, fun kid and apparently quite sentimental. He made lots of friends and learned a lot. So in the picture above, you'll notice his red eyes and cheeks from crying. I love this photo!!
These were his two teachers, Mrs. Chris and Mrs. Carol. They were so caring and loving and Max thought they were"The Best!" He loved that he was almost as tall as Mrs. Chris. They were great ladies and have really prepared Max for his transition to Kindergarten.
I am a little sad that this is the end of Max being "little." Now he has to start his 13+ years of formal education and I have to let him go into the big, bad world of elementary school. I've loved that he missed the deadline and got to stay home an extra year. I wish he could stay five forever! He really is my sunshine and he brings so much joy into my world.
I love you Max!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nothing to Say

Well, I really have nothing to post right now, which is a good thing. Things have been much calmer around here this week and all is well. Mike is just waiting for Tuesday to come when he will have his follow-up visit and get something more permanent on his leg (maybe a cast or a boot). So I'll update later on how all that goes.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Grandma on Mother's Day

I love you very much. Thank you for the sleepovers. You are the best Grandma ever! Thank you for letting us come over for Sunday dinners. I hope you have a good Mother's Day!
I love you Grandma. You are the best Grandma. Thank you for letting me come over on school days and letting me eat all the chips I want. Thank you for the sleepovers. Thank you for the toys you give me on my birthday. I love you.
I am taking a nap right now, but if I were awake, I would tell you how much I love you and how much I love coming to your house to play. Thanks for loving me so much!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just an update

So Mason is finally doing much better. He threw up the last time on Thursday morning and has gradually starting eating again and getting his color and energy back. The carpet and couch cleaners are scheduled to come on Wednesday! Mike is doing well. He has stayed home from work this whole week and tried to keep his foot elevated as much as he could. He is the coach of Max's soccer team, so today he decided to go and coach. He hopped up and down the field on his crutches and one leg as best he could and Max's team did win 6-0. Then he came home and rested the rest of the day. He is planning on staying home from church tomorrow though because he has no church pants to fit over his huge leg and there really is no where comfortable at church for him to sit with his leg up anyway. Since Mike couldn't do it, I went out today and got my own Mother's Day gifts, 3 pairs of sandals. A black pair, a brown pair, and a white pair from KOHLS. I won't be expecting any breakfast in bed tomorrow either. Mitchel also had a piano recital today and played two songs. One of them was "Star Wars" which was a duet with his teacher. He did great! I'm hoping that he will keep it up (and that I won't go insane getting him to practice. I also filmed a wedding and reception this weekend for a couple in my ward. The flowers at Temple Square were so beautiful and made for some awesome video. I have four more weddings scheduled starting the last weekend in May and then one a week the first 3 weekends in June. My last one is for June 18th so hopefully Miles will cooperate and stay in there till I'm done with all of those. I just went to the doctor on Wednesday and I am measuring about a week early which would put me around June 25th. My last day for teaching first grade reading is May 28th and I'm looking forward to having school over. I have absolutely loved doing it this year, but I'm ready for summer! Anyway, all is going well and life just keeps flying by.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Harker Hospital

The Patients
The Foot
The x-ray
Here is the deal with the foot/tendon surgery. As you can see in this x-ray, Mike had a very pointy bone in his heel called a bone spur. If you look up from that you can see a little fragment of broken off bone that ripped his Achilles tendon. So when the surgeon went in, he had to shave off the pointy bone and then put in some screws to reattach the tendon to the bone. That is about the extent of my understanding of the whole procedure. It did go well though and now Mike is recovering by keeping it propped up, taking drugs, and watching all the extended versions of the "Lord of the Ring" movies.
Mason on the other hand is not recovering well. We are on day 4 of him not being able to hold much down. I called the doctor yesterday and they just told me to keep trying to give him fluids as much as possible and don't freak out till day 5. Okay. In the meantime my carpets, couch, blankets, bowls, pillows, and mattresses are, shall we say, covered in nastiness!!! My next order of business will be to get a carpet and upholstery person in here ASAP! I've actually thrown away two pillows and washed more pajamas, blankets, bowls and carpet stains than I ever hope to again. Oh well.
It really has been hard to watch him suffer. I think I'm understanding a little bit of how Heavenly Father feels when he has to watch us go through hard things. He's there to comfort us and hold us and do all he can to help, but he still has to watch us go through trials and uncomfortable things. I wish I could take all the sickness away from Mason right now, but I can't, and I'm sure Heavenly Father feels like that too. (Although luckily he has a bigger perspective and can see how our trials will make us stronger, which is why he doesn't take them away, even though he could.) I am understanding more and more how much Heavenly Father does love each of us, because of the way I feel about my own children. Sometimes the feelings are so strong that I feel like I could burst. I am just hoping and praying that Mason can get back to his usual, fun, cute self soon, because I sure do miss him!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Wild Weekend

Happy 8th Birthday Mitchel!
You know how sometimes you have those weekends where it's just go, go, go with endless activities and crazy times and tons to do and pretty much something always has to go wrong or not quite as planned? Well, that was my weekend. It was full of great things and not so great things but lots of memories!

First, on Thursday was Mitchel's 8th birthday. Just the fact that I have an eight year old blows my mind. He is now officially a "big kid!" As usual, I try to turn any birth"day" into a birth "weekend" because hey, why not make it as memorable and fun as possible, especially since this was an important birthday. So on Thursday we gave Mitchel the gifts from us and then spent the evening together as just our little family bowling at "Fat Cats." We had a great time. It was quite entertaining to see Mike try to bowl with his crutches. He would go to the line, then one of the boys would take him up his ball. The first few just ended up as gutter balls, but gradually he got the hang of doing it all on one foot, and he almost beat me (but not quite!)

My two bowling balls (Ha-Ha)

On Friday, Mitchel had his first "friend" birthday party. We invited his two friends, Caitlin and Ben to an afternoon at "Jumping Jacks." They had a great time sliding, bouncing, and running around for two hours. Mitchel was pretty much dripping sweat by the time we were done.

Then back to our house for some cake and ice cream. Two other neighbor kids joined us for that, since they were standing on our doorstep when we pulled up to the house. I always say, "The more, the merrier!"

So far, the whole weekend was going as planned. We had been having a wonderful time celebrating Mitchel's birthday and were looking forward to the next day, Saturday, because it was his baptism. We had been looking forward and planning it all for months, so all was ready to go. But unfortunately, when I woke up (with plenty of time to get everyone ready of course) Mason came into my room crying and covered in head to toe with diarrhea! Awful! Of all the days, please not today Mason! So I got him in the tub and cleaned up his bed and hoped for the best. Then the throwing up began. Poor thing! But, the day must go on, so I got all the rest of us ready and set off to the church to set up for the family party we were having after the baptism. Now remember that Mike is on crutches and there was no way he could help me set up anything. So my awesome sister Tracy came over early with me to help me roll out tables and chairs and decorate for the luncheon. Thanks Tracy!!

Mitchel's baptism began at 11:00 a.m. and all our family came to support him . That part was awesome! Both Grandmas gave wonderful talks that Mitchel really listened to and I was able to quiz him about them later. He remembered every word! Thanks Grandma Miller and Grandma Harker. He'll never forget what you told him that day. Mike was able to hobble down to the baptismal font to baptize Mitchel. Then while they were changing, I showed a movie of pictures of Mitchel growing up. During the conformation, Mike talked a lot to Mitchel about choices and how important his choices will be in his life. It was perfect and I am sure just what Heavenly Father wanted Mitchel to hear. (While this was going on, my sister Tracy was with Mason, catching his throw-up in a bowl. She really is a Saint!)

After the baptism, we gathered in the Cultural Hall for a good lunch and to celebrate Mitchel's birthday with all of our family. But, the day wasn't over yet for me....

That night was our Young Women "Fiesta Fundraiser." We get to have one fundraiser a year to help us raise money for camp and so this year we decided to throw a Mexican themed dinner party for our ward. So in between the baptism and that, I was cooking hamburger and going to the store for last minute items. Then back to the church to set everything up. That began at 6:00 and the rest of my family had to miss it, since Mason was very sick and Mike could barely walk. We had a wonderful turnout though and I thought the food was great. We had a build your own taco salad bar with cinnamon scones for dessert. We also had a pinata that the kids could whack for only one dollar. I think we were able to raise about $450, so not bad. Then it was the clean up and finally time to go home for the night... but did it end there, of course not!

(Some of our Young Women ready to serve the Ward dinner! The girls were awesome!)

So that night, I was hoping for a little R&R when I got home. My back and feet were killing me after being on them all night. But my poor, sweet little Mason was still doing terrible by the time I got home. Mike gave him a blessing and then we tried putting him to bed. Unfortunately, sleep would not come easily. He woke up at least 5-6 times during the night moaning and groaning. I would go in and he would drink a little bit of water and I would comfort him until he fell back asleep. It was the saddest thing. I was hoping that by Sunday morning he would be feeling better, but no luck. His eyes were all sunken in and he looked horrible. So Mike volunteered to stay home from Church with him while I took the other two. Then I had meetings after church and a choir practice for our Stake Women's Conference in a few weeks. That evening, we had a birthday party for my niece Abbey. Mike stayed home with Mason through everything and took such good care of him. Thank you so much Mike for taking on the "nurturer" roll and letting me fulfill all I needed to do. Not only that, but he loaded the dishwasher for me while I was at church (you can imagine what my sink looked like after a weekend like this) So thanks Mike for loving me and our children so much.

Let's not forget that tomorrow Mike goes in for surgery on his calf. I took the day off work tomorrow so I could be with him, but it also looks like I'll still be nursing Mason back to health as well. We are just hoping that all goes well with the surgery tomorrow and that the recovery will be quicker than they said it would. We'll just have to wait and see.

So anyway, that was my weekend in a long and drawn out post. Some times in our life are just like that, full of all sorts of different ups and downs. I always know though that Heavenly Father is watching out for us and helping us through what ever comes our way. I am looking forward to a slightly calmer week!