Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Young Women's Conference

I was able to take Emmalee up the Conference Center on Saturday for the General Young Women's meeting. She was in HEAVEN!! Mom and her time! It was *really* good!! Pres. Utchdorf spoke about how the most magical phrase in any launguage is "Once Upon a Time..." He then spoke about the different princesses in the stories you can read and the trials they had to face. He said that each of US are princesses to our God and King and we too have trials to endure in our own lives in writting the story of our lives. But he said that if we hold true and endure them well... when we get to the end of our mortal lives we will be blessed to be able to write the other of the most magical phrase at the end OUR books of life... "And they lived happily ever after". It was SO cool!!! Emma REALLY absorbed the reality of who she is and chattered about it all the way home. It was perfect! And I really felt uplifted and like I may be able to continue to endure. (heh heh like I have much choice about it! LOL)

Jestin couldn't go with us, so we took my sister, Jenny, and had a girls day out! It was a ton of fun!
Emmalee was in awe at the temple. She actually was in awe about everything! I forget that we as a family have done very little away from hearth and home in the last 3-4 years because of my health and finances. She was in awe at the size of the buildings downtown. She couldn't believe all the people. It was really fun to see it all through her eyes. She said on the way home she was amazed at "how big the world really is" *giggle* Just from going to Salt Lake City! Bless her heart! I need to take her out more! LOL
She remembered the Christis from when we brought her up to see the lights when she was 5 years old. I love that room. I love hearing that voice and imagining that my Savior really IS speaking to me. I have always loved it...ever since I was a little girl.
Emma wanted to explore it all on Temple Square. Of course we couldn't because of the late hour, but we did explore some. The Sister Missionaries were so sweet! They were pressing everyone who walked by about what their favorite part of Conference was. You could tell they were hungry for it... and had missed out. It was really fun for Emma to see the missionaries too. She talked on the way home about how Cody will get to go on his mission first, because of their ages, but that she will get to go and be out at the same time as him.
(better start savin' my pennies!!!)
Me and my Sis
I am so thankful for the strength to take her to this. I struggled the next day... but it was SO WORTH IT!! I can't wait for the Ensign so I can read the talks again. It was an amazing conference! Cannot WAIT for this weekend!!! I love General Conference so much! It's like balm to my soul.

I wrote something new!

Caleb is going crazy with writting these days. He copies words all over even if he doesn't know what they say. He is trying so hard to learn how to read and he loves to doodle all day long!! He was SO pleased when he wrote the word "Daddy" for the first time! :)

Quick Update on Us

Things at the Dorius household move forward. My heart has gotten over the cold in it for the most part. I don't have the energy levels I did before, but to not have it pounding in my ears 24/7 is a god-send! And I can stand up without fainting so that is nice too! *GRIN* I am going to try to avoid the cold virus as much as I can... yuck! XXcrossing fingersXX and washing hands!
We are in a vortex of terror when it comes to our finances. For me I see no real way out. Only Heavenly Father and His miracles can help us at this point. Jestin has had some small jobs. They catch up some of the bills that are more than 60 days late. (Isn't THAT fun to confess? not.) We are paying our second trial payment of the morgage loan modification today. Then we will only have one payment left in the trial period. I don't know if that means we will be all done... or what. So many have been strung along for months and months when trying to modify. I pray it is quick. But the reality of here and now is not so good. The pharmaceutical company refuses to return my calls about the Epi-Pen malfunction and now I have $3k in medical bills going to collections because we have had no way to pay them. We have 2 years of back taxes on a payment plan with the IRS from a mess our CPA accidentally got us in. We have never made any money to even make ends meet since then to even try to get that paid down... and that is super scary!!Now this last years taxes are coming due in 15 days and we will be even more in debt. It is just a mess. And is really scares me to the core.
My parents are buying our prescriptions to keep us alive. Our ward is paying our utilities. We were quite easily put on food stamps with the amount of income we have had, which was both embarrasing and a huge blessing. People all around us are loosing their homes... and their jobs. I just keep trying to keep my chin up and my face forward and doing the best I can with what I have. We are eating. For now we have a home. Our cars are still parked in the driveway...for now. The kids clothes that they are growing out of will soon be able to be cut off and used for summer clothes! YEA! Silver linings. And hopefully the end of dependence on someone else will soon be over. I SO miss standing our own two feet!!!!! I want my own life back. I miss it. But we continue to pay our tithing and our fast offerings and have faith that somehow it will turn itself around. I know it will. And I know we are blessed. It is just SO hard to ask for help and admit you cannot do all you think you should be able to do.

Jestin has looked for work. There is nothing out there. I have looked, but I cannot commit to a job with my health history right now. We are trying to sell many of our non-essentials, but no one is buying. It is quite the pickle of a mess. And I do not mean to complain... as we are not on the streets, nor are we starving. I just keep praying for relief. I do not know when it will come. I only know it will come. I have wondered if I ought to put this on our blog or not, but decided this is part of our history right now. Someday it will do us good to re-read what we have gone through. And just maybe someone out there is in the same boat and feeling like they are all alone. Which they are not! This is such so "taboo" to talk about... but I just want to give them hope that they are not alone for we are in good company! And I want my children to know someday what we really went through and learn from our trials. LOL And TRULY I hope no one takes this as a plea for help... because really we are doing good... our needs are met. I just feel ready for this particular trial to end! If you know what I mean! LOL
My littlest man turns 5 on Easter Sunday. He can't wait to have an "easter birfday" as he calls it. Party party he thinks! LOL. I can't believe it is time for Jess and my birthday's again already as well! I am mulling what to do about that. Any great ideas? I would love any input you have! Something free and fun... any thoughts?? I was thinking of taking him on a picnic or something... I just don't know what to do. I feel empty when it comes to great free activitites that I can do as well! Either way... we are all healthy and we are so in love... I never knew my love for Jestin could be so strong. The trials we have been through have strengthened us far more than I ever thought possible. He is my very best friend... and is so much a part of me I feel incomplete without him near me. Maybe *I* will be gift enough for him?? *GRIN* I hope so anyway.

The boys have decided to go to the charter school again next year, and Emma wants to as well. I am excited for them. We left the choice up to them, and they all made out lists of pros and cons and then prayed about it. It was fun as the parent to watch them take "control" so to speak of their education and to seek answers. Caleb will go to the local elementary though because they have a speech therapy program for him. It will be oh! so joyful to juggle two schools again next year. LOL It wouldn't be so bad if they took vacation times at the same time! LOL Oh well. My children get good educations and I am glad for it. I love the charter school, and I am slightly relieved Emma won't be going to the local Jr High as I have heard there are many troubles of late with gangs/bullying and little staff to do much about it. I want my kids to be able to focus on learning, and not worry so much about those kinds of things. I am thankful for such good kids!!

I really am trying to stay happy and upbeat. I only have this one life to live and, torturously difficult as it may seem to be right now or not, I am not alone in my difficulties I know... and I take great comfort in that... not that I celebrate that any of you struggling with me as well... it's just nice to know I am likely in good company. *grin* I know this too shall pass and we will be stronger for it. I know that faith and answers to prayers don't always collide on the time table we would prefer. Heavenly Father KNOWs what we need. He knows our hearts, our ability to endure, and our true beliefs and heart's intent.

Sometimes I just wish I could choose that particular part about my life! Bwahahahaha

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A birthday party for "my boys"...

Caleb and his best friend Jesse have their birthday's only days apart! And since they have all the same friends... we Mom's decided to simplify and do a double party! After all... they feel like they belong to each of us... they are like brothers and we all feel like family...
The "twins" could not be anymore pleased!
Let's Get This Party Started!!
We are on our way....
You would not believe the conversations of 5 little 5 yr old boys in one car! Bwahahaha!!!
6 little boys... 3 Mom's... Inflatable devices to bounce on... and what more could you ever want??
(except maybe some crazy pills for the mommies of course!)
And they're off....................
Sliding down the "Titanic" Ship that was "sinking"
"Everybody say... JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!"
They were thrilled and barely stopped to catch their breath!!
"Peek-a-Boo Mommy!!"
"I am on top!"
Climb, Jump, Smash, Roll... what's not to love for this bunch of little boys??
LOVIN' Jumping Jacks!! Wahoo!!
One goes down... so the others must go up!!
Rolly Polly Pell Mell Tumble Bumble...
"YES! I did it!!!"
"Found a way to cool me off!"
READY FOR CAKE!!! We worked up an appetite!!
Look at the way they look at that flame! We could be in trouble! LOL
Look at that gleam in their eyes! LOL Ahh...birthday magic!!
BLOW!!!! Makin' their wishes...
PERFECT!! Matching balls!! And they both got trucks! They were IN HEAVEN! :)
Your cake says it all!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our "Kick" and "Side Kick"!! We can't believe you are 5!! Heaven help your kindergarten teachers...who ever they may be! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Renaissance Fair

In Cody's school they have been studying the Renaissance Period. To culminate their learning, the entire grade did a Renaissance Fair. It was lovely! They invited the Parents only, and there was dinner and entertainment! They served beef stew, crusty bread, grapes and carrots and pie for dessert! All evening, different children would come up to you and "introduce themselves". I met many "famous people" from the time period! Then the entertainment began...

Cody played a part in a collage of Shakespere's plays. He really is a good actor!! For being as shy as he seems to be... give him a part to play and the thespian comes out in full force! I was SO proud of him!!
He played one of the "Shipwrecked Princes"... guess the play______??_________.
There was dancing, recitals, and even Jesters to entertain!
Cody's friend Maren played a muscial number.
Then came the May Pole dance. It was very well done!!
I LOVE how this picture turned out!! :) Also... I love how the Principal is there holding the pole for them. He is actively involved in every school event those kids do! He is even in costume to boot! He is just awesome!!
BRAVO 5th Graders!! I am so impressed!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

He gets it!!

As a family we have been reading the Pearl Of Great Price for our nightly scripture reading. Caleb often just kind of floats in and out while we read, as if you try to make him sit and listen he is noisy and wiggly, but if you encourage drawing or quietly building or puzzling he will at least be with us during this time. I often wondered if he was getting ANY thing of it! LOL

Well... yesterday as we were getting ready for church, Caleb brought me this picture. I asked him where he learned to write Jesus Christ? (he can't read yet but LOVES to copy letters off of anything and everything) He told me his scriptures (the Book of Mormon) cover. Then I asked him to tell me what it was a picture of. He replied it was a picture of Jesus (of course!) and "it is Jesus makin' you outta dust Mom!"

I was floored! FLOORED! He IS listening... and he even applied it to his own life! What a sweet boy I have! He so dang smart! You know..."mother of all living"... made from dust. LOL

(and if you notice... Jesus has a heart... lately ALL his people have hearts since mine has been acting up. LOL)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude

It has been less than 2 hours since I posted about my "wish" list. I have decided they are perfectly acceptable for my posterity to one day read and know I felt that way... but as I have pondered my last post I also have come to the realization that in order for there it be balance in my life I must also list what I DO have to my posterity to read and know.

And so... in following the counsel of the Prophets I am thankful for:
* My ability to pray, and to have a relationship with my Father in Heaven. I may not be able to go and clean someone else's home, or tend their kids for lengthy amounts of time, or even pay their bills but I can offer prayers for those in need, anytime, day or night. And for that I am grateful.
* My parents. They have paid our outrageous medicine costs for us this winter of no work. I do not know where we woud be without their kindness and my Ma's stubborness of making me let her do it. We were rationing our meds and the consquences could have been really bad.
* For my state's CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program). My children would not be healthy today without it. Though it KILLS me to use it, wishing I could be able to care for my own family, I am deeply deeply grateful for the peace it affords us at this time.
* For my job. I know Realtor's have a bad rap. I know many of them deserve it sadly, but I love what I do. I love helping others, I love helping them do something so important for their families and I love getting to show homes. I also love that it works so well around my family life and health, and I am eternally grateful for a great partner! Maria is the best real estate partner ever! We have so much fun together and we love this job for all the same reasons! And we are blessed it seems to always be "on" when the other one needs to be "off". I don't know what I would do without her!
* For good friends and neighbors who seem to call when I need it, bring food when I need it, let me love them when I need it. The Lord has given me such a wonderful place to live and such wonderful people in my life!
* Obviously, for my sweet soul mate. I never knew one could love another so completely. I never dreamed  I would have such a wonderful, faithful, loving, open man in my life. He is my very best friend in the whole world. I love how he makes me feel... and how he treats me. We have grown SO much in the last few years. And that leads me to the next thing I am thankful for:
* For the trials I have been asked to endure. They have grown me, my sweetheart and my family more than I ever thought possible. We are so close as a family! I would not trade any of it for the blessings we have recieved because of them. We may not have all we want in the world, but eternally we have everything we could ever want!
* For the temple. For the peace that is found there. For the sacred work that is done there and for the whisperings of spirits I sense from the other side. I am so happy to know that I am child of God and that I belong to a huge family, and that that family is rooting for each other. I have often felt the presense of family gone on and feel humbled that I get to know and feel that here on earth.

There is so much more I can type about. I truly am blessed. It is only a cold in my heart this time. I can endure this. And I will continue to move forward. In the priesthood blessing I was counseled that I needed to accept that this body of mine will no longer do all I want it to do. I am grateful for that counsel. I need to mourn a little for it, and then embrace what I have left. I may not be able to do all I want or think I should do, but I can still do a lot. I can still make a difference. If I look beyond my limitations, and beyond my self, there is a great big world out there that I can still take advantage of and make my mark on... so to speak! :)

It's been a long week...

I have to say, this time around I have battled some really blue emotions. Normally I feel like I can handle anything and that it will all be ok. This time I am just feeling a little disgruntled. And I wonder if that is ok?

I have a wish list... a secret wish list of hidden emotions and I wonder if I am being covetous with my wish list. I also wonder if I am being ungrateful. Is it a sin to have this wish list? I am trying to make sense of it in my heart and mind. I know it could lead me down a bad path if I let it... but I almost feel untrue to myself if I don't admit to myself that I have felt this way. It is a strange thought process...

This is a small sampling of what I wish:
* I wish I was not "the weak one". I wish I was strong and full of life and energy.
* I wish people didn't have to wonder if I am ok... that I could just be the one caring for them.
* I wish *I* could be the one announcing their victory of a 5k, or even of a good run on a normal day.
* I wish I could hike into the hills and enjoy nature to it's fullest.
* I wish my husband didn't have to give me "that look" when I say I am going to do something that will likely take much of my energy, and know that if my heart and body reacts badly, that I will disappoint him by "over-doing".
* I wish I didn't have to worry about "over-doing" in just doing what everyone else enjoys as normal life!
* I wish others could understand sometimes...instead of saying they do because they are tired from staying up late etc etc (sometimes what I wouldn't give for that to the only reason for me)
* I wish I had a good friend with heart problems that truly does understand sometimes. Other times I think we would wallow possibly and so maybe it is good that I don't. I just feel very alone in it all sometimes.
* I wish deep down that I was not affraid of a heart attack or stroke. I wish, at my age, that it was something I didn't even have to ponder, just like everyone else.
* I wish my sweet 12 yr old daughter did not have to endure panic attacks... that seem to stem directly from my heart episodes. She is just too smart to hide them from... and I always need so much more of her help and have since she was young... I wish she had had a normal childhood with a fun and healthy mom.
* I wish I could say "YES! We are going to Lake Powell" with my sweethearts family every July, instead of always saying no because of the sheer terror I see in Jestin's eyes at the thought of my stupid broken body down in the heat and the likely consequences. Instead I am the reason we cannot enjoy that family tradition with them... and Lake Powell is one of my most favorite places on earth... boating is one of my most favorite activites. It is so unfair. :(
* I wish I could have tried waterskiing back when I was stronger instead of being so affraid. Now I will likely never get to even try. It is a regret I have.
* I wish I could bask in the sun and work hard in the yard and garden, instead of cover up and have to sit on a chair and watch.
* I wish I was not so discouraged by my limitatons and could be more satisfied with what I DO have instead.
* I wish I didn't worry my sweet husband like I do. I understand how he feels, because I feel it with his diabetes, I just wish I wasn't the cause of his stress.
* I wish I could *know* when I was going to have a bad day, and when I will not, so I can PLAN my life. It is so discouraging to not be able to 100% commit to things. I feel like a looser, or a hypocondriact at times when I must admit I cannot do certain things. And I hate admitting "defeat" and I dislike even more constantly "letting people down". That is the hardest for me.
* I wish I didn't have these feelings.
* I wish I felt more grateful and less disappointed.
* I wish I could play hard, work hard and be anything *I* want to be.

These are just a scratch on the surface of the emotions that roll beneath the surface of my heart. I wonder about their effects on me. I wonder if I should just schelch them and ignore them... or if I should give them voice and let them out... or if I am just a big whinner butt who is having a pity party by allowing them into my thoughts... and even worse onto my blog.

Hmmm... We'll see. For now I am giving them voice. Maybe later I will remove this post and find all is well with the world once again and this too shall really pass.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A flare up with my heart

I have not wanted to post about this... maybe hoping it was all a bad dream? :P I don't know... I think it goes back to my "stick my head in the sand" attitude. Not a great attitude to adopt of course, but well... I cope well with it! Bwahahaha!

The kids all had really bad colds last week. Caleb started with it a few days before Cameron's baptism weekend, and by the grace of our Father in Heaven, and I KNOW for my sake, he improved the 2 days we had houseguests and a luncheon to prepare. He seriously was really sick the whole night up with me and then the next day (the day our houseguest arrived) he seemed just fine. We made it through the weekend, and literally they walked out the door and he was completely ill again. It was the craziest most miraculous thing ever! I KNEW I could not physically do all that needed to be done for the baptism with a houseful of guests etc *and* have a sick child coughing all night and needing me and my sleep hours etc. I was SO SO SO thankful! Miracles really do happen! (Sadly, our houseguests took home the bug and they too are sick now, but, well, we would not have traded our times together anyway! It was worth it! *grin* We are so thankful they could come!)

And so, the next few days following the baptism, were a blur of all the kids catching this wicked cold bug and watching movies, breathing treatments, medicating and trying to keep the germs down. It was a long week. Thankfully the boys were out of school the whole week, so Emmalee is our only one with mountains of homework to catch up. (silver linings!)

I started with some snuffy nose stuff, but not much else, other than feeling run down by it all, late Friday night. Saturday I still had some small symptoms; mostly I had no voice and just was tired. My heart had also began hurting, which I just attributed to "over-do"ing in the care of my sick kids, etc.

Sunday Jestin let me sleep in until 11am (really it was 10 am if you didn't count day light savings! *blush* LOL) He had no meetings that morning, so he was making us all breakfast. I was especially exhausted and said good morning to him and then sat in my chair for a bit. A little while later he asked me where something was and I stood up and headed for the kitchen. I only made it half way across the kitchen when I realized I was going down. I luckily was close to a counter, and it only was a "grey spell", so I could hang on to the counter until my blood flow caught back up and I could stand errect.

Now... really... this should have been my first clue. This rarely happens anymore, so I should have listened to my body and stayed home. But I really wanted to attend at least Sacrament meeting! I had not really been out of the house (except for a training class) for over a week! My good friend's son was also speaking in church and I really didn't want to miss it! So, knowing I was having a weak heart day, I skipped a shower, just got dressed and combed my hair and we took Cody and went to church. (The other 3 were still coughing quite a lot, and though they felt better, we thought they wouldn't sound so hot in a quiet meeting! LOL)

We found a spot towards the back (thank goodness) and sat down. I had not sat there very long when I realized I could be in trouble here quick. My hands and feet started to tingle and I could feel my heart pounding fast and hard. I made it through the 1st two talks and the cute musical number by a Daddy and his two little girls before I turned to Jestin and told him I HAD to leave. I had to lay down and get my heart in a better rhythum. I could feel myself needing to pass out and "re-set".

We stood up and walked out. I was focusing really hard on just moving forward and getting to the car and home. In the foyer we passed our friend, Pat, and he sensed that something was wrong. He started following us down the hall to the door, asking us what was wrong. Jes stopped and turned to answer him and I lost all momentum. I had a grey spell in his arms. Pat was really scared by this. He sent Jes to get the car. My Relief Society Pres (and dear friend Zulie) had seen us get up and leave and she had followed us too. She was on one side of me and Pat was on the other. My sweet visiting teacher's husband had also come out to check on me and he stood behind us.

I tried really hard to stay with it until Jes brought the car around, but standing at the door, about to exit the building, I could not fight it anymore. I passed out. It was a very quick recovery, and luckily I could speak quickly following, as they were talking of calling 911! I explained through gasps of breath that I didn't need an ambulance (we still owe them hundereds from the epi-pen incident - I was not going to call them for a mere fainting spell!) and that I knew I just needed to go lay down and get my heart to stop acting funny. I could not deal with the pounding any more!

Pat said that my VTer's hubby, Jack, had grabbed a chair and was standing behind me hoping to "catch" me... LOL... but I don't faint like in the movies. I never fall backwards... I always just loose all support of any muscles I own and I crumple. It was really sweet of him though!

Pat sent Jack to get another gentleman from our ward to help him get me out of the building. (I think he thought Jes couldn't help? not sure *giggle* I think he was just a little freaked out by it all). So Pat & Brent helped get me to the car, and then hopped in to come home with us and make sure I could get into the house ok. It was SO SUPER sweet of them! Embarrasing as the whole ordeal was, I really was thankful they were there.

Jestin, with the help of Pat and Brent, gave me a blessing before they headed back to the church. It was a beautiful blessing! And it was such a gift!

I was told and that this "ailment" would heal itself "in a timely manner", and as he said those words, I felt the whisperings of understanding and peace that the children's cold virus had settled into my heart muscle, and that I would be ok. I was told to rest a lot, not to over-do or push, and not allow myself to feel like a burden and to allow others to serve. The spirit was SO strong. I felt such an amazing amount of love and peace. It was really discouraging to know that I was not going to feel better immediately etc, but it was a HUGE miracle to me to be whispered what was really wrong and the peace that afforded me. I could not bear the thought of going to the Doctor financially right now, so it was an answer to a whispering in my heart.

The Lord is so mericiful and kind. I have felt peace and comfort through this experience. I have been blessed with a softened heart, where there once was hurt and anger for another's carelessness & selfishness in disregarding our efforts to avoid exposure to this ailment in the first place. I have been blessed to know how much the Priesthood can do more than just heal and bless. Personal revelation has increased. I feel so unworthy of such things, and yet I am so utterly thankful for them.

Honestly, this sucks. I had a good exercise program begun, that now I will have to start baby steps again when this all passes. The info you can read online about cold virus in the heart are scary and sure help to keep me laying low! LOL!! Heart attacks and stroke are not something I want to play with ANY time soon! My heart continually pounding like I just finished a race is spending much of my energies. And of course, not being able to sleep at night because it is too quiet and my heart beat pounds in my head and keeps me up, added to the horrific nightmares that appearantly accompany a fast beating heart when you are asleep and well, it is all exhausting to say the least! But this too shall pass. Sleeping during PBS kids ('cause it's noisy) is good... and Caleb loves that I am "watching" it with him! *grin*

I will recover. It will be ok. The pain in my heart will end. I will be able to sleep again. I had a dear friend pick up some heartburn meds for me, after she followed a prompting, so I can get some sleep on my back without burning up my throat, and I can sleep better that position because I can't hear the beating quite as loud! LOL

Ah... so there is the update. Nothing too serious if I be good. And there is an end in sight! :) A special thanks to my "super heros" who rescued me at church, for those who have listened to the spirit on my behalf and for those whose prayers I can feel. I am sad to be slowed down yet again... but I am thankful for my life just the same! :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Date Night & Reflections

Had a wonderful night last night! We ran away last night and went to the Dollar Movie (which BTW is now $2! LOL!) with our friends Hal & Suzie. We saw "The Blindside". It really was a GREAT movie! We had a great time! Thanks so much friends!! But that movie really got emotions going inside me!

In retrospect... I am missing being a foster parent. I wonder where "my girls" are now and what they are doing. We were blessed to foster 3 beautiful girls over a year+ period.

Tiffany was 16. We only had her for a couple of weeks, a couple of times, while her regular foster parents went on vacation, but we grew quite attached to her. She LOVED our kids and was a joy to have in our home. She begged us to keep her permenantly, but with 2 little ones at home I was not equipped to take on a teenager at that time.
(I would post a picture, but she likely looks a lot the same and feel like I should not)

This is Dana (and Cody) Isn't she just precious? She got to go home to her momma and we loved having her in our home! She LOVED my mom and clung to her when she came over! It was great! She loved to dance and sing and her smile just killed me! Oh she was fun to snuggle on!
And this little mite is the reason we quit fostering (aside from just finding out I was pregnant with Cam). I got to go pick her up from the hospital at 4 days old. She was TINY! Preemie clothes drown her. This is Summer. She went home to an aunt for her permenant care, and it broke my heart. She was only in our home for 2 weeks, but I cried for days!! She had fire red hair and was just the sweetest tempermented baby you would ever meet... despite the horror stories told of meth babies. She was a golden little spirit. I pray she is strong and well! She will always feel like one of my own!

They are all big girls now! Attending school I am sure. It really makes me reflect on my life and who I touch and wonder if I make a difference or not. I miss my girls. I wish you could stay in contact with them. *sigh*
Oh well. I *can* pray for them and hope they are happy and healthy and loved! :) By more than just me, their "Foster Mommy".

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quick Trip to Roosevelt

My cousin is looking to buy a home for their family, so Jestin drove me out to show them houses last week. What a great time we had! We looked at homes, and stopped to eat at one of my favorite places on earth to eat: Marion's Fountain Variety Lunch right there on Main Street of Roosevelt - owned by my Aunt's family. I had my two favorites: a grilled hot dog (the only place I like to eat hot dogs ever) and a Barbeque. (hamburger with their own secret recipe sauce on it). YUM!! Then of course Jestin and I shared a special made for me Sundae - Chocolate and vanilla icecream with hot fudge, caramel and cookie dough sprinkles, topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Heaven!
This is my "little man". He is one of my most favorite babies! *GRIN* Isn't he such a little stud?
On the way home we were blessed to enjoy this amazing sunset!
We listened to last years General Relief Society meeting on Jestin Ipod. It was fun to listen and then discuss together the talks without interuption. I loved having Jestin all to myself for those few quiet hours. :)
I love this state we live in! It is just so beautiful! And I am so thankful for my "job" as a Realtor... I never thought it would be something I would want to do... but I really love it!

CERT Certified!!

For my calling in our ward (Emergency Preparedness Specialist) I was asked to take the local CERT Training classes. (Community Emergency Response Team) For 6 weeks we attended every week and learned something new to help us be a part of this team. It was VERY hard for me. We had to learn how to fight fires, how to treat "the killers" (airway, bleeding and shock) & triage injured (yuck), how to search and rescue, and how to organize and dispatch our own teams if need be, just to name a few.

Now, to be totally honest, I went into this course thinking it would be fun and exciting. I attended each week, only to find it mentally and emotionally exhausting. The whole thought process of picking and choosing out of those I know and love (neighbors and friends) of who I may be able to help and who I can't in a disaster situation was chain yanking.

The CERT motto is the "do the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people", so in an emergency you have to basically decide who might live and who might die, tag them as such and plan accordingly. And then there was the thought of search and rescue and leaving people behind, if need be, because they are beyond our scope of training etc. I dont know!! ... but I had nightmares and it just really was so *real* to me. (could it be the huge earthquakes our world is enduring? of course... and the fact that I feel so responsible to help my ward members prepare because of my calling?!) I dont know... but it has been a deep thinking situation for me.

The next to the last class they covered how you may react after an event like this and the effects of this kind of stress a large event could have on you as a CERT member. The instructor then shared her story, as an EMT, of caring for and loosing a mangled baby ejected from a vehicle in a car crash and the emotional toll it has taken on her. She ended up having an emotional breakdown (mimicking a heart attack) towards the end of class after re-living it for us!! She was shaking, crying, and in shock right there before our eyes. And she was the trained EMT Instructor! My cage was so rattled when I left that class I cannot even tell you!!

Anyway... so I was VERY nervous for our last class in which they would create a mock disaster for us. I honestly was not sure I *wanted* to be trained in this particular venue in life. I was grateful for what I could do for my family because of it... but I was not jiving at all on being responsible for others in this manner. I was seriously thinking about quitting.

We got to our class and corrected our final tests. We could hear them setting up in the next rooms for the mock disaster. The fire alarm started going off and was re-set over and over after going off because of the smoke they were creating for our disaster.

We watched the news footage of the earthquake in CA in 2004 (Pima county?) and all the inital drama as it unfolded there. That was our set-up. We were responding to an earthquake. We finally were ready to begin and they asked for a volunteer to be the team leader. Team leader is ultimately in charge of assigning all the smaller group leaders and all the co-ordination of all the volunteers, as well as record keeping. We had 26 people in this class... and the only one I really knew was Camille (my EP Specialist Assistant taking the class with me). No one would raise their hand! He asked 4 times. I was SO nervous about the entire event... I finally had the thought cross my mind... "if you don't conquer this it will always be a fear". I RAISED MY HAND!!! What was I THINKING???? I stood up and walked to the front! I WAS THE TEAM LEADER! Huh??? And now all the other people in the room were looking to me for guidance! (add also to my nerves that I had missed the night on search and rescue due to strep throat, so I only knew what I read in the book for that part! ACK!)

The lights were shut out and all we had were our flashlights, we could hear the "victims" screaming for help and knocking on the walls and it was smoky and eery. I asked for volunteers and got 3 men to volunteer; one to head up the Medical Area team, one for the Search & Rescue team, one for Fire and I had to finally ask one of the larger men to head up the Transport team because no one else was volunteering! I handed out radios and asked Camille to come and be my right hand girl to write everything down.

I dispatched my S&R team out first, and then got in a little bit of a "discussion" with my Transport team leader; he thought they should leave WITH the S&R team and told him to wait for a radio back from S&R to know where victims were. He went ahead and took his team and left after S&R dispite what I said. 

It was sad... even though it was a "mock" event. Our first victim was a dead infant (CPR doll). That really set the tone for the whole event. One by one they brought victims back to where we were. We ran our head-to-toe assesments, triaged where we could and I tried to keep on top of it all. I had one volunteer who was older and deaf, and she had forgotten her hearing aids. She had her adult daughter with her. She was discouraged because she couldn't hear well to know how to help. I quickly came up the with the assignment of standing at the door and asking the victims names as they entered the room, she could ask and her daughter could listen and write down the info. It worked out well and I was grateful to be able to give her a job so she could feel included! :)

It was utter chaos, but it turned out to be pretty well organized chaos. We had "victims" in shock trying to help and getting in the way. We had "injured" trying to leave the room to "look for their family members". The "injuries" were complex and very real looking. It was all VERY well plotted and executed and it felt quite real.

After we had found all the "victims" and got them to safety (minus the "woman in labor" in a "room full of poison" that I had to counsel them to leave there and mark the door for more trained individuals to handle - HARD to think about!) we were gathered for a review. They were REALLY pleased with our group and how we handled it all. They said our biggest problem was Transport being on top of and then passing S&R. (was kind of nice to hear that I chose correctly even if the leader did his own thing). They also praised my efforts and said that I was the first woman they had ever had be the Team Leader!!! :O Really??

What an amazing event in my life!! I was SO pumped!! Not only did I face my greatest fear in all of this, but CONQUERED it!! They were also really pleased when I explained that I have a heart condition and knew I could not be the one transporting or even likely S&Ring because of it! The instructor smiled and said that he was so pleased... that he must have taught me well because our other mantra as a CERT member is that we are #1 priority. Our safety first. He was glad I choose a job I knew I could physically do and still "do the greatest good for the greatest amount of people". It was wicked cool!

It was SUCH a rush!! Talk about empowering yourself! Greatest fear conquered! I do NOT enjoy being in charge in. the. least! I do not enjoy being "responsible" in the least. And I was really worried about this whole event... and I really feel like my Heavenly Father guided me through this! I had prayed before I went to class for the courage to endure this.... and I think He helped me do more than endure!! *GRIN* WAHOO!!! I am woman! Hear me roar!!!!!!! I can fear this no more!!! *GRIN*

Monday, March 1, 2010

I did it! I did it!!

I am a happy girl!! This morning I got on our new (hand-me-down) treadmill and started a new getting-myself-healthy again plan. It is a walking/body shaping workout for people who don't have any excercise program going. Which is me. I have done a little strength training, but as far as anything else really since my heart surgery I have avoided elevating my heart too much because, well, it hurt! I think the scar tissue in my heart would stretch when I would get my heart pounding and it just would HURT so bad! (Like I had jsut *had* the surgery again!) Lately I have pushed the envelope here and there and have not had the pain, so I tried it today...

I walked (briskly) for 30 minutes!!!!!! The LONGEST I have been able to walk like that since surgery!! NO PAIN! I was purple in the face and wanted to die... LOL... but it was normal workout purple in the face/want to die. I am SO SO SO tickled!! I don't care about how many pounds I loose! I just want to get stronger! I am ready to be able to live my life! I am ready to not be scared of over-doing it and skip out of events or things in my life! I just want to be able to go up the stairs without being tired, be able to go shopping with my girl friends/mom & sisters and not be the slow down!

I also added some strength training, though I used Spaghetti Sauce cans since I don't have any hand weights! LOL They worked great for me! *wink*

I am going to try and post what I do each day for the next 3 weeks (it's a 3 week plan) and make myself accountable. I know I can do ANYTHING for 3 weeks... so let's see if I can get some excercise back into my life!! *grin*