Monday, October 21, 2013

WOW! October is almost over?

I would ask where the time has gone, but I know exactly where the time has gone and what we have been doing.  School started for the boys and then it started for me.  I think that all I need to say is Psychological Statistics...right?  I knew you would understand.

Kenny had surgery on his foot.  He had a horrible bunion that needed to be addressed.  Shipping it to the Congo would have still been to close.  Luckily, Kenny has been wonderful in keeping his diabetes under control and that made it possible for the doctor to be able to do the surgery.  It had gotten to the point that he could barely walk, it was so painful!  6 weeks later, he is walking so much better, now that he can walk again.  He is finally able to put weight on his foot and walk without his walking boot starting today.  It's a very big day for him!!

Taylor had surgery #8, which should be his last surgery.  He had a countdown going for the entire month before.  His surgery was last week and he is doing so much better today and is feeling good enough to walk without using a crutch.  There for a couple days, Kenny and T were both walking with a crutch.  I am so excited for T to be able to look forward and make plans that do not include planning the next surgery.  This is a big step for him!

Kelton is enjoying the first part of his Junior year.  He is still dating Amanda and they are so wonderful together!  They went to Homecoming together with their good friends and had a great time.  Kelton is also on the swim team at school and has been loving it.  I have loved to see him reach out of his comfort zone to do something new.  I also have to thank Amanda for that as well.  Her influence on this subject helped more than anything.

Although this is starting to feel like one of those "catch you up" Christmas letters, that is not what I thought I was doing when I started.  It has just been crazy and since this is also like a journal of my family for me, I wanted to do a quick update.

I also need to add how thankful I am for my family.  They are all so wonderful, patient, and loving.  Without that support I would be struggling to survive.  We have had sisters bring us dinner, and check on our patients.  Other family members have taken the time to just stop by and say hi.  There are other family that are quietly behind the scenes praying for us (they didn't tell me, I can just feel that peace and blessings coming into our life).  We also have several friends that have been reaching out and caring for us as well.

I love you all!!!  May God Bless You!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Day of Firsts

A few days before school actually started my boys actually started to get their supplies ready.  I would never have done that.  In fact, I didn't get any of my supplies until the same day my semester started.  I even had one more week than the kids.  They were not happy at all that I took their pictures, but I had to have some sort of proof that they know how to organize :)

August 20th was Taylor's first day of 9th grade, his Freshman year.  He totally had "swag"  
He did wonderful on his first day.  He only got lost once.  T tried to tell me that he was 30 minutes late for his science class.  Really?  I finally got him to admit that it was probably more like 5 minutes.  You need to know that this High School is about half the size of my High School.  With that said, I still think 5 minutes is a little exaggerated.  

Since their school is on a block schedule and they attend half their classes on one day and then the other half on the next day.  He had 2 first days.  Total's moments like this that can bring small pleasures into a parents life.  Anyway, his second day went much better.  

August 20th was Kelton's first day of his Junior year.  I can't believe he only has 2 years left of high school.  These are the moments that can make a parent notice their age.
He did wonderful!  His second day was better because his girlfriend Amanda was in 2 of his classes that day and they have lunch together.  Priorities :)

August 20th was also the first day of school for my truck.  Kelton now has his licence and I finally gave in and added him to our insurance.  OUCH!!  He gets to drive them to school any day that he doesn't have swimming.  When he has swimming he has to be at school by 6:30 am to catch the bus that takes him to Tooele where the swimming pool is.  Life in a small town.

I am very happy that both my boys had a good first day of school and that my truck came home without a scratch.  A very successful day!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


This is where it all started 19 years ago today in a church in a small town with 2 young people.  We knew it all and nobody was going to tell us what to do.  With a whole four months behind us and a whole lifetime ahead of us, we set off on our journey.

There have been many times when our journey has taken us down a nice straight tree lined road.  Things made sense and fell into order.  

More often than not, our journey has taken a meandering path that would wind back and forth and even double back on us.  The trick to this has been to learn how to find enjoyment along the way, slow down to enjoy the scenery, and to laugh often.

I wouldn't trade our years together for anything!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Education Commentary

I just saw this on Facebook and had to share.  I think it is so sad that this is how our education system is.  I have volunteered at my kids schools over the years and it has broken my heart to see smart kids who think they are stupid because they can't express themselves the same way as other kids.  Not every child is the same, not even siblings, but we need to have more options for children in education. Even with the we have, there needs to be some way to help our children understand that if they are learning in a nontraditional way that it is okay.  It was hard when I was homeschooling my boys and they fought me almost the whole time because it was different from what their friends were doing.  

Right now I am volunteering at one of our local schools and one of the teachers have opened up to me and explained how he has lost dozens of days of instruction because of standardized testing and assemblies.  He can't get through all of things that he is supposed to teach to his students because they keep taking his classroom time away.  How can we expect our kids to succeed on these standardized tests when they don't can't receive all the lessons that they need.  In our situation one of the things that took away instruction time was an assembly for cheer-leading; in fact there have been a couple assemblies involving extra curricular groups from the high school that come to recruit for new members for their groups.  I am happy that the principal has stepped in when he can and moved some of these would be assemblies and moved them to little demonstrations during lunch.  While these events can get kids excited for their next year in school, they are not educational.

I love the schools that my boys are attending now and they are now excelling in school.  They also have some of the toughest teachers now than they have ever had.  I think the one thing that has helped is those teachers pushing them and having them learn that they are capable of doing this harder work.  As I have watched my children grow and see how they learn this topic has become more and more important to me.  Now that I'm in school to become a teacher I am even more aware of how our educational system works.  I hope I can continue to volunteer and learn so that I can be the most effective teacher as possible for my future students.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Lost and Found

For one of Taylor's classes, he has study hall in the library and the lost and found is located in the library.  I guess he checks the lost and found regularly and last week noticed that there was a watch in there.  He came home on Friday with this watch on his wrist.  I asked him about it and he said that it had been in the lost and found and it had been there for a while (found out a while equates 3 days) so he took it.  I didn't get to much more from him, but later when his Grandma came home the conversation went more like this:

Grandma: Where did you get that watch?
T: I found it in the lost and found.
Grandma: Was it yours?
T: No, it was lost and I found it!

Now T has a watch that beeps every hour and the alarm went off a couple times and he couldn't figure out how to stop it.  My response, well you found it =)

I love how kids think and reason.  Don't always love all the teaching that has to follow some of these decisions, but it always keeps life interesting.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Medical bills reproduce like rabbits !

It could also be like Field of Dreams...If you pay them, more will come.

I'm just sayin :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Opening up

I recently saw an episode of Katie where she interviewed some moms who take medicine to be a better mom. The topic was picked and gone into more depth from an article in Parenting magazine, the section on the show was labeled Xanax makes me a better mom. These moms had depression and needed antidepressants.  On the website it has several quotes that explain how depression is experienced by different people. Each of these moms all shared the same feelings that if they are depressed they aren't a good mom, by taking their medications they are able to be attentive and overall a better mom.  This is an opinion that I agree with.

There is still so much astigmatism around depression that it is hard to be open. Within the Parenting article, they bring up the fact that when studying depression, that parenting was not part of the studies.  I agree with some point that were brought up about just giving a pill to everyone who want to always be happy. I know that there is an over prescribed amount of antidepressants, like some other medications, and like those other drugs, there are some serious side effects that can happen from taking these kinds of medications.  Even when these medications are needed, you need to make sure you are working with a mental health professional who knows how to properly diagnose you and can work closely with you so you find the right medication for your specific needs.

I'm not trying to sound preachy, I just know how important it is to be properly diagnosed. I bring this up because I have gone back and forth in my decision to share this part of my life and face the possible backlash that can come from people knowing this much about me.  Depression is more than just feeling sad about having a bad day.  Chemical depression goes further to where you feel like you have sunk into quicksand.  When I start going downhill, I don't even realize what is going on.  For a long time, I had no idea that this was a large part of why I would struggle through simple parts of my life. I was blessed to have a loving sister who shared her feelings that I was, "going to ruin my marriage" because of my actions.

For me, it went past just being "lazy" and "unmotivated," I was more than just "tired" or was having some "pain."  I had several moments when driving around the city when I would be the first one stopped at the Trax crossing and would try to calculate how far I could pull in front of the train to just get knocked out (so I could have a break from life) but not die. Other times I would watch the planes take off from the airport that was by our home and wish for one to drop on me.  I know that I really didn't want to die, but there were guilty feelings that I wasn't good enough and that I was causing my family too much money because of my diseases.    By this time my family realized things were getting more serious with me and made plans to intervene and get me help.  I didn't have to be hospitalized but it did lead to me getting the proper help and diagnosis so that my depression can be better under control.  It will always be there, like type 1 diabetes, but with proper medication, it can be managed for the most part.

Why would I share this now?  I was appalled while watching the show that people would make comments along the line that they shouldn't be a parent, period, if they needed antidepressants.  To me this is like saying that if you have diabetes you shouldn't have children.  If you could have cancer, you shouldn't have children. We have as much control over getting depression as we do over getting cancer.  Depression is invisible, if you saw me, your first thought wouldn't be "look, she is depressed!"  It's not like having a broken arm or surgery.  Most of the people that we see that are homeless are there due to mental illness and we look and say "how sad" or "that person is crazy."  Both thoughts are true, to a point, it is sad and the person does have mental illness, crazy might not be the best description of that person (nor very PC, but I'm not very PC, I am crazy :)).

I am proud to say that it has almost been a year since my family had their little intervention with me.  I have been seeing a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (aka crazy pill nurse).  I have had a lot of family who have stayed close and have been wonderfully supportive   I have friends that have been so understanding.  Both have been very loving.  On the other hand, there have been people who have been incredibly judgmental and some who seem okay but have put distance between us.  Sometimes it can be painful with both groups, It's hard to have people not like me over something that I have no control over and it is hard to see the concern in the eyes of people I love.  I am very blessed to have so many loved ones and to have learned to be stronger due to the people who have made life hard.

We all will have our own struggles that we need to overcome. Because of this, we have all been put here to help each other and to lift each other. We shouldn't be making it harder for each other, we need to be loving and helpful. At least that's what I believe.

Thursday, January 31, 2013


January slunk in with much after Christmas cleaning, getting back into our "school" routine and COLD!

January always comes with cold temperatures (close to half the month was below freezing and in the teens for daytime highs), inversion, fog, and snow.  This is the first year that I remember having to experience freezing rain.  

On with our life and how this month has been a blur (or maybe I have just been blocking it each day) for the month of January.  I started the year off with my mom in the hospital with pneumonia.  On January 1st, while parking at the hospital, I hit a truck.  Oh, happy day & Happy Freaking New Year!  Mom got out of the hospital and has been doing wonderful. 

About the time we were starting to lose all viability from the smog, I decided to take down our Christmas Tree.  It was the middle of the month and the longest time I had ever left a tree up...ever!  While twisting myself and the tree up with my sad attempt to take the lights off the tree, I got myself stuck between the tree, wall and love seat. I was so tired that I couldn't move the love seat any more and in my ever so stubborn way, started to push myself up from the floor while wedged in my little triangle.  Just when I thought I had myself going in the right direction, I realized that I was falling and shooting across the living room.

As soon as the realization struck me that I was not going up but across the room I mumbled a quick "Oh Shit" as the truth of what was going on hit me.  I was heading straight at Taylor (he was laying on the couch) and quickly (didn't know that was still a speed I could hit) twisted so that I would land on the tote with our decorations that had just been neatly tucked away.

Taylor's first response was total shock and then he said, "mom, you broke the tote!"  After a few seconds he looked at me and asked if I was okay, followed with a "how did you not break a rib?"  He may forever regret asking me this question because I answered him boob broke the fall!  I hurt so bad, I had landed on my right side smashing my arm, boob, and face.  I had to lay there to catch my breath and take assessment of the situation, since nothing was broken it was time to laugh (gently, I still hurt).

On the day of our infamous Ice Storm, Kenny had to drive to work (just shy of 40 miles on I-80 and I-15). We had several horrible accidents on the roads all over Salt Lake County that morning and Kenny was luck enough to be in the middle of one of the worst accidents that morning.  He was just driving through the interchange that takes you from I-80 onto part of I-15 before you can head East on I-80 again to get off on State Street.  Before he could get to far into that whole transition of his drive the accident began.  He said there were trucks and cars sliding all over the place and then all he could think of was NASCAR...when there is a wreck you want to drive low to try to make through without hitting any of the wrecked cars or have them hit you.  All he could think while watching what was occurring around him was "drive low, drive low."  

He has been watched over by many angels this month and has been very blessed.  With the ice storm, the horrible fog (mixed with the inversion) and now snow, he has not been involved in any accidents.  I am truly thankful for his safety!

Looking back over this month we have had so many adventures that would be difficult to mention here without turning one blog post into a novel.  I should have blogging as one of my new years resolutions :)
We have had many trips and falls, one accident, much sliding (mostly on feet) on the ice, attended a car show (no we are not buying a new car, at least for now) and fell in love with the Mini Coopers, went to the movies, I started college again, lots of homework for me and the boys, new semester for the boys, celebrated my moms birthday, watched lots of football, and spent lots of time together at home curled up in blankets watching movies and just spending time together.

Now that January is over I can say that we survived!! 

My 2 stories and little list of things above might not sound like a lot but I'm pretty sure there was more, I just can't remember.  I did find out 2 big accomplishments for my boys:
Kelton finished his make up credits in 2 weeks for 2 of his classes that he struggled with and is now in a theater class in school. He is going to be in a play!!
Taylor was moved into Honors Science with the new semester.  He didn't tell me until yesterday!
I am so proud of them and all their hard work.

May we all stay on our feet (haa haa) as we head into February.
May it also warm up a little as well :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Note to Self

Rachelle, please pay attention:

I am not the same person I was before being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I am not the same person I was before having surgery almost 2 years ago.  I am also not the same person I was before being diagnosed with R/A.  I need to keep that in mind and STOP COMPARING MYSELF WITH MY OLD SELF!  It is okay that I am not the same.  I am still beautiful, smart, and able to do many things.  They may be different things than before but I can still love life and live it to it's fullest.

I started today in pain, feeling tired and feeling down.  I started today with 2 pieces of chocolate cake. That may have tasted wonderful, however, it did nothing for how I felt.  As the morning went on, I felt even more down, more tired, and more pain.  I made the decision to go to the gym.  I actually got myself up, got dressed and drove to the gym.  That means that I left the house.  That is huge!  Not even my old self would have done that.

The after effects of making that decision has been good.  I noticed a difference just by getting dressed.  I am still tired and sore but now I have earned the right to feel that way.  I worked hard to feel sore.  I may be tired but it's not the run down, can't focus tired that I normally have. It doesn't make sense but I feel refreshed.  I don't have those down feelings now.  So far I am loving the effects of going to the gym and focusing on just making my body move.

My old self could move and work full time and keep the house perfect and most days could take on the world.  As fun as that was, I am okay with focusing on just a couple things at a time and learning my new limits.  Well, not always okay, but learning to change my thinking so that it is okay.

I need to remember this day...Remember that I "ran" 1.5 miles on the elliptical and it felt great!  Now that I know I can do that, I need to say, "SUCK IT OLD SELF!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year

Now that we are a few days into 2013 I have to take a moment to stop and reflect on all that I have been blessed with.  I need to take a moment to say thank you for having a wonderful and supportive husband.  He is so loving, patient and overall the best person for me.  I need to say how very honored I am to have Kelton and Taylor as my sons.  They both are so strong in their beliefs and opinions, I am very proud of them for that strength, they add that strength to me every day.  Both boys are so smart. Like any mother of teenagers, I wish they could see how smart they are.  I want them both to know how much I love them and how proud of them I am. (someone, please tell them I wrote this. They are teenage boys, they won't read their moms silly blog)

I am thankful that Kenny is such a hard working man.  He takes care of our family and provides for us so well.  When I think of this I think of all the families out there that are struggling and or don't have what they need, I am reminded of how blessed we are that we have our needs met and even get to enjoy some of our wants.  We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clothes to wear, dependable cars to drive, and even got to go to the movies this weekend (which was entertaining in more than one way if you saw Facebook). Having someone attend the movie with you is, as one person said it, " shit ass drunk" always brings extra entertainment.  Now if you hear one of ask if you were S.A.D. you will understand (I hope).

This is also the perfect time to reflect on all things that I hold dear to my heart.  Along with family I am taking this time to ponder on all the things which the Lord has blessed me with.  I keep these things close to my heart and often struggle with them but I know that these precious truths are, well, true.  I am thankful that I threw myself together and went to church yesterday.  I don't always like to attend fast and testimony meeting, but it helped to remind me why I make the choices I do and to remind me how important God is in my life.  And, yes, I know I swore in the previous paragraph and am now talking about my faith.  I'm having a hard time being too serious this morning.

I am also trying to learn how to use my new laptop and I keep hitting something on the mouse pad that is moving my curser all over the screen.  It has made typing this a little frustrating and slightly comical.  This is why I can't get to serious, not with my curer bouncing all over what I'm writing.

With this new year has come some hard parenting moments, lots of comical moments, reconnecting with loved ones, me becoming a student again and lots of hope. I hope that all of you can look at this new year that can bring whatever it wants, with hope.  I hope we can all find some humor in the things that come to us this year. 

I think my theme for this year will be HOPE, HUMOR, & LOVE!