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

~ Mother Teresa

Sunday, April 29, 2012

BYU Women's Conference 2012

  I was blessed to be able to attend BYU Women's Conference this year again with my dear friend Amy, her mom and her mom's friends from Vegas. It was held the day after my last class of Spring Semester. I didn't take as many photos as I would like to have, but I was SO filled spiritually it doesn't really matter. :)
Our little group of regulars 
Thank you Amy for inviting me to join you...
... I am always so well fed in so many ways after this conference! :D

And thank you Jestin for letting me go play with MY friend on YOUR birthday!
(Good thing he had to work! LOL)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Caleb's Head Injury

Caleb was playing on our backdoor neighbor's trampoline and I could see them out the window. Caleb, Cam and their son were chasing each other around the safety net on the outside of the tramp.
I had the impression to holler out the window that it was not a good idea, but figured it wasn't my tramp and my rules.
(dumb parent/not listening to the Holy Ghost moment)
About 5 minutes later Cameron brought Caleb home and he was crying. The only other time Caleb really cried was when he broke his arm!
(He gets tears and gulps them down, but he doesn't cry out loud hardly ever!)
I knew he was really hurt.
He had fallen backwards off the edge of the tramp and hit the back of his head.
I held and loved on him while we put ice on his head.
He calmed down really quickly and just wanted to lay on the couch.

I proceeded with our late dinner and called the kids to the table.

(Jestin has been working 60-hour swing shifts on his new job, so the kids don't see him but for a few hours on the weekend, and when he is home he is sleeping most of the time!)

Caleb didn't want to eat.
And it was his favorite.
His eyes kept wandering in and out of focus.
He would talk... but his words would get mixed up or he would mumble.
The feeling that something more was wrong was very strong.
It was after 8 pm at this point.

By 9 pm I KNEW something was not right.
I could not decide what to do.
Jestin wasn't home!!
We were once again without insurance between jobs.
All I could think was that Caleb needed a Priesthood Blessing.

Brother Swasey and Brother Carter were kind enough to come over this late in the evening.
Both had experience with concussions as well, which I felt was a tender mercy!
They counseled with me and then gave Caleb a blessing.
He was blessed to be healed with time.
Brother Carter made me promise to call him if Caleb started anymore symptoms aside from the ones previously mentioned, and that I would take him the ER.
I agreed of course and was relieved to have someone aware of what was going on!

Within 10 minutes of the brethren leaving, Caleb started projectile vomiting.
I called Brother Cater back and told him I was taking him to the hospital, he agreed.
I called Ma and Dad to come down and sit at the house, as I was putting the other kids to bed first.
Then I loaded up my little man and drove to the ER.

They got him right back.
(He was still puking)
A CT scan later and we knew the diagnosis:
A Concussion.

He improved a bit as we sat in the ER, and so we were versed on what to watch for, including waking him every hour all night long to make sure he was wakable, and I was told I could take him home.
There was no visible swelling or bleeding on his brain.
(Thank heavens!)

I was instructed to keep him down flat for 24 hours and limit his activity for 4-6 weeks.
(have they MET my 7 year old?? LOL)
And no jumping on the tramp until school is out.
He is super sad!
And the sweet neighbors have brought him suckers and a new magnetic game board to cheer him up.
They feel just awful... but accidents happen! Such is life! :)

Caleb healed really well. He did struggle with changes in his personality for about 6-8 weeks. He was weepy and easily upset. He would have little rages. It was STRANGE! Caleb is our even-keel kid! It was very odd. If he bonked his head at all he would burst into tears and shake with fear!
Now at the end of summer he has no visible signs of trauma.
He loves the tramp, but is very strict about the rules on it, and if other kids won't follow them he gets off.
We are so thankful he is ok!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Release of Brother & Sister Stoddard

Daddy & Ma were released yesterday.
Dad had been serving as a counselor in the Korean Branch Presidency at the MTC
(Missionary Training Center)
 President and Sister Shin, Dad and Ma, and Brother Heiner
We were invited to attend Sacrament Meeting with them for his release. They held the meeting in 11M, The Melvin J Ballard Building.
This was 3-fold special...
One, it was where Dad served and was released .
Two, this was the first building that Dad worked in at the MTC when he started his career there over 30 years ago!
(My Dad worked at the MTC most of my life)
And three, it was the last Sunday of Sacrament Meetings to be held in this building... it is being torn down to build a new taller building.
It was a choice experience. 
The kids loved the covered walk-ways just as I did as a kid... 
The spirit you feel at the MTC is unlike anywhere else! It is so humbling!  
Our Little Family 
Papa with his grandchildren
We hope someday they stand at this very spot and have pictures taken when they themselves are called to serve...
(Missing were Brent's 4 children) 
Cam wanted his own photo to use when he has another to add to it in 10 years or so.
So then Caleb did too! :)
And Caleb HAD to wear his "Future Missionary" tag to our visit to the MTC!
The missionaries loved it! 
Papa stopped all the kids in a hall on our way through the buildings and had to show them his "favorite" missionary photo out of all the ones adorning the walls of the MTC. 
He loves the look on the little blond boys face in this one... it makes him chuckle whenever he sees it! LOL 
(hubba hubba)
As we passed the hall of the Presidents of the MTC, I snapped this photo...
this is how many Presidencies Dad has served with while working at the MTC.
30 years worth! 
But this one brought tears to his eyes. This is President Boone whom extended the call to serve as a part of a Branch Presidency.
He and his wife Allison really loved my dad, and you could tell by his tears that the feeling was mutual.
He served for 2 years as part of an English Branch and then 2 more year in the Korean Branch.
(And no... he didn't speak the language!) 
The Keith and Annette Stoddard Family
(missing are Brent, Nicole, Morgan, Britt, Jesselynn and Kate Jo)

Our "Good and Faithful Servants" 
Cameron wanted me to take a picture of this picture of President Monson... he adores Pres. Monson.
And he was completely delighted when I pointed out that you can see his reflection in the glass looking at his picture! :) 
Caleb with one of the displays I loved to play on as a child. 
The Book of Mormon is truly a gift from God! 

I finally got Cody to stand still so I could snap this photo of him alone.
Crazy to think it is possible that I will be taking another just like it in 6 short years!
Thank you Papa and Gramma Annie for being such fantastic examples to us all!!
We are so proud of you!
And we love you very much!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Importance Of Being Earnest

I am not affraid to tell you that, as a family, we have not done anything extra or fun for an evening since my stroke in Dec. 2010. So... with the help of a dear friend, and the first paycheck of Jestin's new job:
We were able to drive to Centerville (about 90 minutes away) and see one of my most favorite people in a play!

The kids LOVED it!
My "FLYSistah" Allie was a main character! She did AWESOME!!

She called and gave us 4 tickets for her opening night,
 and we were able to purchase 2 more and bring the whole gang!
We stopped and got sub sandwiches and made a whole "family's day out" of it!
It was a wonderful memory making expereince!
Thanks Allie for a wonderful evening! You were spectacular (as you always are!) and we are thankful to have gotten to be a part of your experience!