Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Father's Day

Lee had a fun Father's Day, I think.  Seems like he did, ha ha.  The morning started off by giving him a few treats from me, and some fun cards and pictures from the kids.  Lee LOVES OREO cookies.  Always a no-fail gift for him. 
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I also bought Lee some mini gummy bears and regular gummy bears.  Another no-fail gift.  I know, I know, I go ALL out for Father's Day.  Haley made a cute little hunt-type-thing to assist Lee in finding his gummy bears.  First was a stop light telling him when he could go, or start.
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Then he had to follow the pieces of paper on the ground.
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Yay! Gummy bears!
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Cal made Lee a card.
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The inside cracked me up.  I would have never thought of writing have a tropical Father's Day.  Hey, why not?! He got the idea when he started creating the below "tropical" bird.  Looks like a prehistoric bird to me, or something you'd see on Dr. Who.
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Lee's big gift was a steak.  I asked him what he wanted to eat for Father's Day and that's what he decided on.  He found some pretty good small steaks for the rest of us.
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In our 11 years of marriage, this is the first time he's ever bought a steak and grilled it.  I can't even remember when he last bought a steak.  This is probably the 2nd or 3rd one he's ever bought?  He really enjoyed it.  Mission accomplished. 
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I realized just the other day that the Fathers didn't receive any sort of little goodie or pie or anything at church.  We had a yummy strawberry cheescake-ish dessert at home though. 

Lee is a great dad and our kids love him.  He is definitely the fun parent. I'm very blessed to have him as the father of my children!  I am thankful for my own dad and his wonderful example of hard work and dedication.  He set a great example for me in choosing whom to marry! He also taught me how to work and the importance of the temple and modesty.  Thanks Dad for being a great Father and sharing your love of the gospel with me. Thanks Lee for being a great Father.  Our children are very blessed to have you in their life!

Friday, June 20, 2014


A few weeks ago on May 27th at 10:52 I received a text from my brother-in-law, Jeff.  Lee and I were sitting on the couch relaxing at the end of the night and I was looking at instagram or something.  The text stated that when Jeff came home from work he found Lois passed out on the floor in their bedroom.  And it was their anniversary that day too.  Thankfully their three young boys were all fine for the 45 minutes or so that Lois was on the floor.  She felt dizzy and had collapsed to the floor.  After their good friend Mary showed up to watch the boys, Jeff drove Lois to the emergency room.  Later that night they were taken via helicopter to the hospital at the University of Maryland. After lots of tests the doctors found out that she had an ischemic stroke on the left side of her brain.  The clot passed through a hole in her heart (which she didn't know she had).  My brother Darrell in PA drove down that night to meet them at the hospital and I drove up the next morning.  I didn't go to bed till almost 2am and had a hard time falling asleep.  I woke up just before 4am and was wide awake the whole way to the hospital.

Seeing Lois the next morning was very emotional.  We both started crying when we saw each other.  Her speech was very limited that morning, though the words she could say and her intonation were both great. I came up during the day while my kids were in school so I couldn't stay long.  I went back up again on Friday.  She had been moved from the ICU to a regular hospital room. Lois' friend met us there with the two youngest kids-Blake and Rhett.  After the boys saw their mom and dad I took them home with me.  Reed went with my brother Darrell back to PA.

An elevator selfie.  I am not practiced at these, ha ha.  The hospital was a pretty cool building.  Somehow they built around an existing building--keeping the existing building basically the same that you see in the picture.  Even though from the picture it looks like you see an outside building from the elevator, it was actually inside another building.  I am sure I am making no sense. 
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We had Blake and Rhett with us for a week. 
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Ha ha, I just noticed my "toes", as I used my leg as a baby guard for while I was taking the picture. 
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The first weekend in June my parents drove down and dropped off Reed to he could stay with us too for the coming week.  He was really excited to see his brothers, which was so cute.  We went camping that weekend...yes, with 8 kids!  It worked out great! Before we headed to the camp site we stopped at Sharp Shopper.  Blake was asleep in the van and slept through the whole shopping trip.
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That Sunday we managed the 8 kids at church and it didn't go so bad.  Especially since I was up on the stand here and there to lead the music for our sacrament meeting.
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My parents came back to my place that Monday evening.  They have been here helping with rides (where is that 10 passenger van when I need one? We need to be neighbors Melissa!) and the kids.  One afternoon Cal and Reed sat out by the street with my Dad so they could sell Pokemon pictures.  A lady drove up and gave Reed a $1 and told him to keep up the good work. Pretty funny.  Lee wondered why she didn't at least take a picture.
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On a Tuesday my kind friend Rachel brought all of us dinner!  It was really nice not to think about dinner that night, knowing someone else was going to make it.  My family loved the meatballs that were in there too. I never make them and they love meatballs. THANK YOU RACHEL!
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Rhett was scaling the chairs in my van quite well! 
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Friday the 13th was Rhett's 1st birthday. By then Lois was at a rehabilitation hospital associated with the University of Maryland. She has been very busy doing lots of rehab--speech, physical and occupational. Seems like there many have been another one? They have a great terraced outdoor space/park/garden that was perfect for a birthday party.  Lois asked me to make Rhett a Lego brick cake and smash cake.

The smash cake.
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The Lego cake.
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Friday the 13th my parents took the boys up to Maryland for the weekend and I was busy at home baking up lots and lots of cupcakes. I made about 80 of them.  I didn't want to make a huge cake, but wanted to have something to bring along the cake line.  So cupcakes it was!  I was surprised how quickly I turned out 80 or so cupcakes.  I made way too much frosting for them too.  But we used it all up this morning on homemade cinnamon rolls so it all worked out!  I made some cardstock Lego minifigure cupcake toppers. That was a mouth full. Lee worked on Saturday, so the kids and I drove up for the birthday party.  I again went to bed late the night prior and definitely felt it the next morning.  I had to pull over and take a quick nap.  Some of my kids were awake but were amazingly quiet for me.  I pulled into a Taco Bell and slept for 15 minutes.  I definitely fell asleep and felt fine the rest of the drive. I was worried that my nap would make me late, but the timing worked out really well.
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Lois' friends brought this cute banner, brownies, drinks and a pinata.  It was a fun party.
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Rhett ate all of the connector things, but never really smashed the cake.  I guess the fondant protected it well, ha ha.
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There was such a great turnout!  So many friends came to see Lois and her family.  They are definitely loved for which I am grateful!  And we had the garden area all to ourselves for quite sometime. It was such a great place for a party!
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Darrell and his family came down too for the party.  These are the kids that got to hang out at my house for a week while Darrell and Stacie were at a conference.  I think I might have some favorite Aunt status going on....
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It's still so weird my baby is going to kindergarten! And just a very random side note, Elden's yellow shirt is one of my favorites. 
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The kids were playing some sort of catch-the-pig-but-you-can't move game with Cal's stuffed pig he got for his birthday.  I love the ingenious games cousins play with each other.  They played this game for quite awhile too!
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Here the girls are "making pizza" ha ha.
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He LOVED this toy!
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Inside Lois' room.  Too bad it was shared!  Oh well.  After the party we went eventually made it home and celebrated Father's Day with Lee on Sunday.  My parents came down on Monday with the boys again so they could spend another week with us. Lois isn't 100% back, but has improved a lot and will be coming home tomorrow!!! She'll continue out-patient rehab after she arrives home. We are hoping and hopeful for a full recovery. The fact that she is left handed has been a big help as she uses both sides of her brain more than a right-handed person (so I've heard).  I can't imagine what this ordeal has been like.  Right before Elden was born, I was in the hospital two hours from home for five weeks, and then away from home (still two hours) staying at a Ronald McDonald house while Elden was in the NICU for two months.  Though some things have been similar between her situation and mine, many things are completely different. 
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We're cheering for you Lois!