Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Ice Skating with Cousins

Saturday, Dec 17th we spent the whole day with our Christensen Family. We started our day off in Cedar for some ice skating.  

Brayden was a little worried about this new sport but fell in love pretty quickly! He was so good. By the time we left he was jumping in the air. 

Kory's broken collarbone is healing pretty nicely. He didn't want to take the chance of hurting it and so he chose to stand on the sides and run my camera.  

Hunter! For reals??? You photo bombed my train picture!
Maddie hanging onto Carlaya who's hanging onto Aunt Christina, Me and Kylie!

Uncle Jonathan and Emily. 

Jonathan and Matthew

Emily and Carlaya

Mya and Kylie

Emily, Maddie and Carlaya

After a few hours our bodies were worn out!
We headed back home to Grandma's house for some hot soup and dinner rolls. 
I of course left my camera at home. 

Following dinner we opened the gifts Grandma and Grandpa Christensen bought everyone from their Alaska Vacation a few months ago. This year my siblings and I decided to provide an experience for all the kids instead of buying gifts. Hence the ice skating day. I loved it! 

Aunt Christina holding Ariel, Maddie, Carlaya, Kylie, Mya, Emily, Uncle Travis
Jamie, Elena, Brayden.

When the gifts were opened and the garbage picked up we played a game Kory and I were introduced to a few years ago. It's called the Left, Right & Center game. Everyone was asked to bring 3, one dollar bills that wanted to play. So everyone starts off with 3 one dollar bills. They then roll the 3 dice or the same amount of dice as dollars left in the there hand. The then follow the instructions per the dice. Pass a dollar to the right, left, keep it or put it in the center. 

It doesn't take too long before the pile of dollars in the center starts to pile up.

You may loose all 3 dollars on your first roll but your still in the game. Because your neighbor may have to give you one of theirs! 

It doesn't hurt quite as bad to give your dollar to your spouse. 
At least you hope it stays in the "family"! 

Who was our lucky winner??

Grandma won all $60 one dollar bills!

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Oh, Christmas Tree...

Last Christmas was probably the worst Christmas our little family has had. The ENTIRE family was sick about 2 weeks before Christmas with a real nasty stomach bug. Kory actually stayed home from work one day in bed, something he has never done in our entire marriage. I got sick 2 days before Christmas. It was so bad I was the first to bed on Christmas Eve. Very few pictures were taken. We were working on the house, I always felt it was a mess (Ha ha ha ha if only I knew what was coming!) Christmas Morning the boys discovered their RC cars. Hunter hooked his battery up wrong, it sparked, smoked and blew a part. All before he was even able to give it a run. Brayden and Kory took Brayden's outside. It hit the curb and broke the axel! It was a rough few weeks to say the least. 

The day after Christmas as I was packing and putting away all the Christmas decorations Kory was helping the kiddo's pack up their bedrooms. We moved everyones bed's and dressers into the family room that night. For the next several months the family room was all 5 kids big bedroom. 

As Christmas has been fastly approaching I told Kory I really "need" my family room back. Ummm where would be put up a tree? Every nook and crany in our house is stuffed with boxes, dressers, and totes. We have no room. We haven't decorated for a single holiday this year which has really put a damper on our holiday spirits. We all needed a good Christmas! And so when we got the kiddo's back into a real bedroom and our family room was sheet rocked we set up our Christmas Tree on Saturday Dec 1st! Bring on the joyful holiday!

Kory and Hunter went out riding 4 wheelers with some friends so the rest of the family set up the Christmas Tree!  

What the heck? Maddie can almost touch the top of the tree!

I love how this cute girl sticks out her tongue when she is concentrating.

Emily and Brayden making sure there are no holes in the tree. 

Oh how I love this site! 
You can hardly tell the walls aren't textured or painted. 

When the tree was set up we pulled in the other totes of decorations. 
My parents gave Hunter and Maddie these rocking reindeer when they were about 3 and 4. 
My younger two are still enjoying them. 

Brayden found the Santa train and used it for transporting his army men to their new base. Oh how I love watching this little man of mine use his imagination. 

My favorite toddler toys of all time were The Little People play sets. I loved they were all plastic and could be thrown in the dishwasher to be sanitized. As the kiddo's have grown I have slowly had to pass our little playsets along. But I kept the Nativity. I know one day it will to be passed along although I have thought about keeping it for my grandkids! I love that this is her favorite toy of the season.  

This December is going to be great! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Maddies Allergies

Since Maddie was little it seems this girl has always struggled to breathe. She is always stuffed up, breathes out of her mouth and snores. When she was a toddler she was put on every allergy medicine out there whether it was a RX or an over the counter. It all worked for a short time but then seemed to come back. Nothing worked long term. I finally took her to an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist. We were told her adenoids were huge and needed to be removed. This would cause her allergy like symtoms. And so we did. She was 6 years old. 

That 1st year after surgery she didn't snore, could breathe with her nose and we thought it had worked. But it didn't.... all her symptoms came back. So I took her back to the same specialist. To our surprise her adenoids had grown back and her tonsils had also grown since we had last been seen. Her tonsils were bigger than most grown men. So we had our 2nd surgery. Her tonsils were removed along with her adenoids again! She was 9 years old.  

Oh how this little girl has grown! She is now 14 and it's like we're back to square one and has been for a few years now. The adenoids and tonsil removal may have helped but she can still get pretty nasally and stuffed up. For the past 4 years I have been taken her to see Dr. Pinkston who can treat allergies. He tests her one at a time and then treats her. She has been treated for dairy, egg and milk allergies. She has been treated for wheat and lentil allergy. Tomato and other acidic allergies. She has been treated for radiation that comes from TV's, ipods and flourescent lighting. During regular outdoor allergies he can treat her for 2-3 trees at the same time. He picks what is in bloom and seems to be bothering most of his patients and treats her. Again it all seems to help but then her symptoms come back. It is so frustrating! Our insurance doesn't cover Dr. Pinkston's visits and it all adds up pretty quickly! 

A few weeks ago my sister, Hanna went to a different allergist who tested her for 80 different allergens all at once. I decided to take Maddie to see Dr. Penna after hearing about her experience. Thankfully our insurance covered her appointments. 

This sweet girl was pricked with 10 small needles all attached to a board. There were 8 different boards carrying different serums in like familes. Maddie got pricked 80 times in about 60 seconds. 

Within seconds the pricked area's (right shoulder to wrist and all of left arm) turned an angry red, started to swell and itch. She had to sit for 15 min while we waited for the serums to do their thing. It took all she had NOT to scratch and spread that syrum.


My phone camera isn't the best but I was trying to capture the welts and hives she had in the above picture. 

After about 10 min some of the pricks almost disapeared. Mostly the ones on her right shoulder. 
The nurse finally came back in and washed the serums off her arms and rubbed a special lotion that would help the itch to go away. Her comment when she first walked in was, "Well you're definetely allergic to a lot of things". Great! 

The doctor soon came in and gave us the verdict. One set of 10 were foods. The most common food allergies. Mostly the foods she was already treated for by Dr. Pinkston. She still had some reaction but after 15 min the red, itchyness had gone away and you could barely see the prick marks. These spots didn't bother Maddie at all by then. So..... she's pretty good there he said. The other 70 pricks were outdoor allergies with about 5 of those for animals, dog, cat, horse etc. She is more allergic to cats than dogs.  The crazy part is that she reacted to all 65 outdoor allergens. He said this is about every single tree and shrub found in Southern Utah. Wow!

So where do we go from here? Maddie has a perscription for Flonase that she is to take once a day. It is not harmful or addictive. She will probably be on this for the rest of her life. She was also given a perscription for Zyrtec. She is suppose to take one pill a day. This too is supposeldy not addictive nor harmful to take this often. I'm not sure how I feel about this. How can a little pill taken every single day not become addictive?

Our other option is to take her in once a week for an allergy shot. These appointments would last 1.5 hours to 2 hours each week. We live in Hurricane, the doctors office is in St. George. She would have to miss part of school once a week for these appointments. That's a lot of missing classes. 

So for now we're doing the Flonase and Zyrtec. When school is about out we'll talk about having her treated once a week during the summer and see how it goes. We can also take our list of every tree and shrub to Dr. Pinkston and have him treat those individually. But again I think we'll wait till summer when schools out. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Thanksgiving was spent this year in Alton. We left home that morning about 10am and arrived just before noon. The kids quickly went in search of their cousins. Lunch was at 1 at the town hall. We had so much food!

These teen boys stuck together like glue.
Kyle, Gideon (back of) Orrin Zeke (back of) and Hunter (back of)

Rachel and Emily 

Maddie and Kylie 

Hunter quite often says he doesn't like kids. However, at every single family gathering he can be seen with a much younger cousin following him around or on his shoulders.
 This is Kit (Klynt and Carries) 

Ruth and Maddie 

After lunch all the boys 10+ went up to the cemetary and went shooting. Grandpa had prizes for the best shop from the adult men and the younger boys. Hunter brought home a shotgun case! Way to go Hunter! The younger kids back to Aunt Harmony's where the kids played and watched a movie. 

The teen girls and their moms made a live wreath for Christmas. 
I think ours turned out so good!
I love the fresh smell. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Brayden Preparing for the 2nd Coming

Near the end of October Brayden got off the bus carrying a plastic grocery sack full of boxed goods and canned food. I asked him where it came from. He replied that there was a man passing out bags to kids who were poor at school. My heart sank and I wanted to laugh out loud all at the same time. We are not poor. Our house is torn apart, we are always cold but really we aren't poor that my kids need to bring home a bag of groceries. We can provide for them just fine. So over the next week we had many discussions at home about what it means to be poor and the different ways we can be poor. Not just financially but poor in spirit and emotionally too. We talked about how we can help the "poor" too. 

Fast forward a month and Brayden gets off the bus again carrying a bag of what looked like more boxed/canned food. Oh my goodness! The first thing out of his mouth was "Mom don't freak out and don't get mad. I know we aren't poor." I said OK why don't you explain it to me then....

Brayden- There was this man at school passing out bags again. He asked if I wanted one. I told him we weren't poor. He said it didn't matter if you were poor or where you lived or who you were. That everyone got to take a bag home that wanted one.

Kylie-  Ya mom, I told Brayden we weren't poor. I told him we shouldn't take it. I told him.... our fridge is full where is Mom going to put all this anyways. 

Brayden- Ya but everyone can have one. I'm just trying to help Mom out during the 2nd Coming!

Mom- What?

Brayden- Ya you know during the 2nd coming when farmers can't grow food and we don't get any rain and you can't buy food at stores. You know there are still over 200 people missing in California. And they can't go to stores for food either. 
(California is suffering right now by some major fires. Many towns have been evacuated and people have died. Brayden has been learning about this at school) 

Kylie- Ya, but Mom said we aren't poor. That food is for our poor friends.

Mom- (Speechless! How do I argue with him just trying to help?) We then proceeded to have a 10 min coversation on food storage and why I buy in bulk and how we keep it in the cellar. I laughed and laughed and laughed. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Edible Cells

In 7th grade Maddie had to make an edible cel for science. I never ended up getting a picture. So when she had to do it again this year in 9th grade I made sure I got one. 

She may have taken it in the car, sitting on her lap on our way to school but I got one. This girl wants a 4.0 and she works her little tushy off and getting A's in all her classes. I love they way her edible cel turned out. Supposedly after they display them they get to eat them. Yum!

Thursday, November 08, 2018


For weeks now I have been finding similar drawing of this all over the house. It's always on my white board. I find it on scratch paper pads, on the back of Kory's order forms and the inside of coloring books. I knew it was Brayden's drawings but what the heck is it? I thought maybe it had something to do with Fortnite, the latest game that every little boy seems to eat, sleep and talk about. One morning I caught him in the act and asked what the heck this was? He replied it was his chess game. What? I didn't even know he knew how to play chess. I asked him who he was playing against? He said himself. Hmmm I wonder how well that works? I guess he wins everytime right? 

Strategizing his next move....

 Pretty sure this kids needs a chess set for Christmas.  

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Halloween 2018

Halloween Day!

The little ones had a parade after lunch at school. They walked around the track once 
That's my little incredible!

Mr. Joker who insisted on jogging around. 

I volunteered to help in Braydens class party so I don't have pictures from Kylies. A few weeks before Halloween all of the 4th graders voted on whether to do a regular Halloween party or play store with the money they earn during the week for good behavior, good grades and turning in homework.  The kids decided on the store.  Those that signed up to be a store owner had to pay $100 for their space. Brayden had earned just over $300 if play money so he was good with that. At home he had done some extra chores and helped work on the house to earn money to buy his "Glow" sticks, bugs, necklace and rings. His store was everything that "glowed". 
His store was super successful. He earned $1,064 in one hour and almost sold out of everything. He was so pleased! Being a store owner he then had to pay taxes on his sales of 10% to his teacher. He had a great time! Although he's never had to "pay" to go to the bathroom he knows he'll never have to worry about not having the money to pay for that bathroom break if needed. It was a long afternoon spent at the school but so much fun! 

That afternoon I got texts from my 3 older kids. They were all wanting to go home from school with a friend and go trick or treating with them. I let them all go but now I regret it as I don't have a single picture from them. Bummer! Kory was going to go with the little ones and I but he insisted on working and by the time he got home he was in a lot of pain and so stayed home. The littles and I just stayed in our neighborhood walking up and down a few streets. Their bags were soon filled where it was to "heavy" to carry so we made our way home. It was quite the different Halloween night for sure. 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Ward Trunk or Treat

With Kory breaking his collarbone just 2 days ago things have been a bit hectic. I'm stressed, Kory's stressed and still in quite a bit of pain and I feel like we are just having to take it one day or one hour at a time right now. My plans for Halloween didn't end up happening. Good thing we have next year! 

Tonight our ward hosted its annual Trunk or Treat. 
Miss Emily went as Harley Quinn from Batman and Joker. 

Brayden was Joker! 

Hunter didn't want his picture taken but was able to snap this anyways. He dressed like characters from the movie Grease with his best friend Karson. 

This little pipsqueak loves the movie The Incredibles. She is Violet! 

Maddie was going to dress up but left her costume at a friends. Oops!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Our 1st Broken Bone

Sunday night Kory wasn't feeling well and was hoping he could "sleep off" whatever it was that was bothering him. It didn't work! Pretty sure he finally came down with whatever the kids and I had the week of Fall Break. He was super sick Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday he came home for lunch and never went back. Thursday he worked the whole day but came home super tired. Friday he had an install to do in Kanab. It was the first day he felt almost normal. He still needed the toilet quite a bit but he no longer had a fever or the chills. He felt like he was going to live through this.....

When he got home Friday afternoon (October 26th) several parts for my parents quad had come in the mail that he and Hunter had been waiting on. Not wanting to waste daylight they both spent 2-3 hours replacing the broken parts and putting the quad back together. They took it down to my parents house with the intention of making sure the new brake line was fixed, the break fluid wasn't leaking and a few other things were working correctly. Kory and I were going out that night, it was almost dark and so they wouldn't be long!  Kory said after driving it around for a few minutes everything seemed fine and he was ready to back the quad up into the shed and come home. He doesn't know what exactly happend. He knows he put the quad in reverse to back it down the driveway and into the shed. But the next thing he knew he was flying through the air. He found himself lying on his back with the air knocked out of him about 10 feet from the quad. Hunter didn't see the accident happen but was there and was able to help him up. 

We spent our date night at the InstaCare. 
He broke his collar bone in 3 different places and has a few cracked ribs. 

He's got a little road rash...

Can't cast a broken collar bone so his arm is in a sling. Doctor said it takes about 8 weeks before he'll be 90% back. It will probably be 12+ weeks for him to feel 100% back to normal but his bone won't be completley healed. It will take several months if not a whole year for that bone to have regrowth. 

The discouragement we felt that night can not even be described! Kory's already a man down at the shop. He's got several houses that are all going to be ready for their install at the same time.  Our house is always cold, winter's around the corner and we've got so much work to do to get get the house sealed before we can turn on our heater. We both felt miserable.... but also thankful that was the extent to his injuries. It could have been worse!

We called some friends to have them come give Kory a blessing that night and to help us get a recliner for Kory to sleep in, Cody Goodfellow and Tony Werrett.  I held my own until we got home from the Doctors and then my tears flowed pretty freely. Im sure it was pretty obvious I had been crying when these awesome friends showed up. Tony gave the blessing and oh my goodness did I feel the spirit. He blessed Kory that he would have a full recovery. He was blessed that although work was going to be stressful that we would find the help we so desperately needed. He blessed ME in Kory's blessing that I would have the strength to take care of my family and Kory in his time of need. I was told that if I kept to the scriptures and prayed oft I would feel my burdens be lifted. I was tears once again by the end of the blessing. It was an amazing blessing. 

This week marks 8 weeks since Kory's accident. Starting that next week I worked in the shop with Kory in between my H&R Block job, my notary assignments I had already accepted and running kids here and there. Kory was able to find another employee the following week to work at the shop on a full time basis. A neighbor who use to paint cars came to the shop to offer his services in the spray booth. Wow! There were many times that I felt overwhelmed and frustrated that I wasn't "keeping" up with everything I ususally did. Everytime the anxiety or fear or overwhelming feeling arose I thought back to that blessing. I would pull out my scriptures and say a prayer. Very quickly I would feel the peace that I was so desperately needing. 

That first week was super hard for Kory. He couldn't dry himself off from a shower, he couldnt pull up his pants or button them after going to the bathroom. He couldn't get dressed or undressed by himself. He could'nt get out of bed by himself. It was a real struggle! But as each week came and went he got a little bit better. After 2 1/2 weeks he was able to stop wearing the sling. Looking at him now you'd never know. He feels like he is about 80% back to normal. He's had 3 appts now with a specialist who x-rays everytime. The bone is healing and some re-growth can be seen. He's getting better! Doc said he should feel about 95% at 12 weeks.

When our ward family heard about Kory's accident they and our friends came to the rescue. We had several men show up on several occasions to help us. We had help finishing the electrical and sheetrocking. We were able to have insualtion blown in and then we got our heat pump installed. It is so nice to be warm at home. It was so, so cold for several weeks. It didn't seem to matter how "warm" it was outside which was usually between 64-72. Our house could not get above 60. We stayed at a pretty constant 58 degrees. It was horrible! I fixed breakfast wearing a coat. The kids would get dressed, put their coat on and then come into eat. I wore a coat most of the day, every day. The kids would come home from school with their coats in their backpack. They wouldn't be home for long before they were wearing them again. It was seriously warmer outside than inside. It didn't matter how long or how many doors and windows I would have open. It just stayed cold. I am so thankful for heat!

I still think back to that blessing Kory was given. It really strengthened my testimony of the priesthood. I don't now if I have ever felt the way I felt during his blessing. And then when I was feeling at my worst and to know all I needed to to do was say a prayer or pick up my scriptures and that uneasiness or anxiousness would disapear. It was and still is an amazing experience that I am so thankful that I had. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Painted Pumpkins

I think October just may become our favorite month of school. The kids new school has some fun things planned. The library has a tradition of having kids (that want to) paint a pumpkin into a character from their favorite book or something that tells you what book it's representing. Kylie loves pony books and unicorns. She decided to turn her pumpkin into a unicorn.  

She had so much fun! 

Brayden is reading Hatchet right now and really likes it. He decided to make his pumpkin represent that book. He printed out a hatchet, cut it, taped it to the pumpkin and then traced around it with pencil. He painted it and then with a sharpie marker outlined it. I was quite impressed. He did so good.  

It just happened to be "pajama" day at school when we dropped them off to the librarian. 

They were so proud of their pumpkins. 

Love that they both enjoy reading.