December 26, 2008

2008 2A Football Champs

At dinner before the concert, my tooth began to have shooting pain when I ate either cold or hot foods, but it would subside within 10 minutes or so, so I just tried to ignore it, but it continued to get worse.  On the ride home it was really hurting and after dinner at the Platt's, I was ready to cry.  (I did actually cry once when Chase bumped my jaw with his head causing my teeth to forcefully clamp together :()Spence called Dr. Platt for me and got me a prescription for antibiotics and pain killers so that I could make it until Monday to get it fixed.  I picked up the prescription on my way to my parent's house for our "day after Thanksgiving" Thanksgiving dinner.  Half way through the meal I was having trouble keeping my eyes open.  Everything was getting foggy and I was really dizzy.  Can you tell I don't do well with painkillers?  My family made fun of me the rest of the day while I slept on the floor by the heater...they thought I was so out of it I couldn't hear them, but I was only just out of it enough to not care that they were teasing me.

The next day was the 2A state football championship in Flagstaff.  I really wanted to go because I hadn't been to any of Cade's games all year (bad aunt). But when the Vicodin caused me to oversleep my parents (who always leave early) left me, not wanting to put any pressure on me to go since I wasn't feeling well.  But I was bound and determined to go, so I figured I would be OK driving if I didn't take any Vicodin that morning and then if  I was in horrible pain by the time I got there, I could take one and someone could drive my car home.  So Chase and I loaded up and headed to our old stomping grounds: NAU. 

Papa Bruce with the grandkiddos: Chase and Lauren

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Matt and his wife Gina came down from Page for the game.

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Cade is number six.  He had a 'turf toe" which I hear is a very painful injury, but it didn't slow him down.  St. Johns won the game for the state championship for the second year in a row. 

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We posed for a pic by the lumberjack on the way out.  Grandma Terry, Chase and Lauren.

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We went to eat at Busters afterwards and my mom drove Chase and I home in my car....just in case! (I was feeling much better though)


Spence, Trey and I bought tickets for a Coldplay concert way back in May (Brindi didn't get a ticket because her baby was due a few weeks before the concert in June).  It was their first stop on the tour.  They canceled.  It was rescheduled and then rescheduled again and finally ended up being the day before Thanksgiving.  They're British; I guess they didn't know how important Thanksgiving is to us Americans.  Luckily, my mom was willing to not only watch my kids, but push Thanksgiving back a day....THANKS MOM!

So we drove down to the valley that day, ate some delicious Thai food at Trey and Brindi's local haunt from when they lived in Mesa, and showed up at the arena in Glendale with plenty of time to spare.  I only mention that we were on time because it's so unlike all of the other concerts I had been to with Spence when we were younger...we'd show up after the opening act and barely make the head-liner. 

The area around the arena is really cool. I'd never been there before. It's kind of like an outdoor mall with lots of shops and places to eat and music and fountains. There is a movie theater and a hotel.   Next time I go to a concert there, I'd like to stay right there and enjoy the atmosphere...if only they had Thai food. 

This first picture I'm posting is of the view I had for most of the concert.  This nut in front of us danced, jumped, "air-guitared", "air-pianoed", shook, sang, and copied every move that Chris Martin (Coldplay's singer) did all night.  I wish I would have gotten a video of him...I've never seen anything like it.  Way more annoying than entertaining.

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Spence and Trey thought they were SO funny.  They made the dumbest faces in every picture I tried to take.  They closed their eyes on purpose in most of them. So now I'm posting them the to PUNISH them. 

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Sadly to say, I couldn't figure out how to get my camera to take good pictures in the dark at 40 yards away, so this is how the concert pics turned out.

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The only decent shot I got was when I took a picture of the monitor above us. 

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I guess I better read my camera manual before I go to another concert. 

Oh, and I did get one decent shot of the opening act.  They were a band from Texas called Sleepercar.  They were really good. Loud, but good.

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I don't know if I'm just getting old, but the concert was so loud that my ears were ringing for 30 minutes afterwards.  But the concert was killer.  I would recommend it to anyone who likes music.  We decided that the average age of the people attending the concert was about 35... which made me feel young! :) Coldplay puts on a great show. They played most of the music from their new album "Viva la Vida" which I would also recommend.  

December 1, 2008

Silver-Tongued Trouble

I've been posting a lot about Chase and figured I'd better give Hayes a little air-time.  I love the poses he did for me.  He's been driving me crazy this past week with his new favorite words:  literally, ironic and continually.  (I was laughing when he would use what I thought was his own variation of the word ironic, "ironical", until I looked it up and found out that it really is a variation of the word ironic) I swear he tries to find situations in which to use these words.  He actually uses them correctly most of the time, but he's been stretching the meaning of literal and irony so that he can use them in every other sentence. I've got to teach him some new vocabulary words so we can put these ones to rest.  To his credit though....he is so good at new vocabulary words.  All he has to do is hear a new word in context, and he is immediately using it correctly in his day-to-day speech.  I wish I was that good at expanding my vocabulary. 

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November 28, 2008

Last Cookout of the Year???

With the weather cooling off and it being nearly December, my mom decided we better get in a cookout before it's too cold.  But when I asked her if it will be the last one of the year, she was reluctant to call an end to the cookout season.  So at our next cookout, there may be snow on the ground and we may be donning our winter coats and gloves, but we'll still be cooking out, damnit! Tere-babe is such a trooper!

If you ever wonder why Spence is missing from our photos, it's because he usually shows up to all of the events after we've eaten...only about an hour or so late! Some things never change.  So here's pics with me and my boys...minus one!

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They've always got to get in at least one good wrestling match...usually initiated by Chase. His headlocks are dangerous.

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They love to throw anything they can get their hands on into the fire.

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I love Chase's face in this shot as he's winding up to throw his leaves in the fire.

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Papa Bruce is always good for at least one game of Andy-I-Over!

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The Man himself...BCJ. Love ya, Dad.

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Thanks Mom and Dad for the many cookouts over the years.  We cherish them all.

OuR StoRy---the high school thing

I never should have started this project with a memory like mine! :)  I'll just have to give it to you in bits and pieces that I can remember.

Rather than "dating", it seemed like we mostly just "hung out"  together.  One of the things I do remember is that I instantly liked his friends.  I remember driving down to Whiting Bros in Doug Chlarson's little blue car they called the "Mirth Mobile".  Having grown up in 3rd ward up at the stake center, I didn't know the guys from 1st and 2nd ward very well.  Soon I knew the Doug Brothers, Doug Chlarson and Doug Lisonbee, and Troy Adair.  I remember one of our first dates was getting pizza with Troy and Melissa and driving out east in Spence's old brown truck named "One in a Million".  The car naming phenomenon again. 

It seemed like we would always end up down at Whiting Brothers around closing for the half-price burritos.  Does anyone else remember this?  After 10:00 pm or so, Whitings would mark down their burros (that was about all the food they sold besides corn dogs back them).  Half price wasn't good enough for Spence; he would always manage to talk the clerk on duty into throwing something in for free or marking them down early.  Now I remember why he can always talk me into anything.  Everywhere we went he'd talk people into giving him the "employee discount" or some other outrageous deal.

I would ride with Spence out to check waters or break ice at the ranch out east.  I thought it was kind of cool that he wore Wranglers when he went to work.  I had only known him as "Skater" up to this point and had no idea about the cowboy within. :) 

The Winter dance was coming up and we both already had dates with other people.  But now that we liked each other, we couldn't bear the thought of not going together.  Does this sound like teenage minds or what????  Somehow we finagled it so that we traded dates and the other two went with each other and we got to go together.  I'd like to take this time to apologize to the other two people even though they'll probably never read this. What can I say...we were crazy in love or like or something like that.  At this point we'd been "dating" about a month.  I was proud, at the time, to say that we'd never kissed.  Doesn't one month of no kissing constitute a considerable foundation of friendship before becoming an item?  I thought so. 

After the dance, Spence talked me into (remember, he could talk me into anything and still can) dropping everyone else off at home first so I could take him last.  I went inside his house with him and we were standing in the kitchen doorway talking. After some smooth talking on Spence's part and some awkward side-stepping on my part,  he finally kissed me on the cheek. I was still holding on to the thought that we should be friends for a while.  Not to be deterred (he's going to hate that I'm saying this about him...I better get his side of the story later), he eventually maneuvered in and landed a big one right on my  lips. I'm not going to go all "pioneer woman" on you all and tell you all the steamy details, A. because I can't remember them and B. because our parents will read this, but I do remember thinking he was the best kisser I'd ever come across.

In months that ensued, we became inseparable.  Dating Spence entailed a lot of waiting.  He was notoriously late to everything.  I spent in inordinate amount of time at his house chatting with his family while he showered and dressed.  He never seemed to actually start to get ready to go out until he heard me ring the doorbell. He is to this day, meticulous about his grooming, but has perfected the 3-minute shower, so I have to give him some credit! As I sat waiting in his living room or kitchen, he would inevitably come out with socks and shoes in hand and proceed to put on one sock, then one shoe. The other sock and then the other shoe.  Is it just me or is this weird? I guess it stands out in my mind because the whole putting on of the socks and shoes might take anywhere from 5-15 minutes (depending on whether  or not he misplaced a sock during the process).  I might be exaggerating here, but I swear it did. 

As our senior year drew to a close, we had no idea what the future might hold.  We'd been "steady dating" (I'm not promoting steady dating here :) for about eight months by this time. Would we go our separate ways?  Would we try to make a long distance relationship work?  Surely there would be college and a mission?  We marched down the auditorium aisle arm in arm to receive our high school diplomas.  It seemed like a surreal and euphoric event in the mind of a 17-year-old.  School and friends were the only life we knew up until this point.  I think we were both feeling pretty nostalgic and emotional about leaving it all behind.  After the ceremony ended, we snuck behind the stage and out into the hall by the band room for a moment alone.  I remember Spence picked me up an swung me around and his first uttered "I love you" was met with my quick "I love you too" in response.  Was it just two teenagers who thought they knew what love meant?  Was it real love that would endure the test of time and space?  Only time would tell.......



More embarrassing photos:


No wonder Spence fell for me....look at me!  All curly hair and crazy bangs flying in the air...what's not to love???


Spence, Kellie, Courtney Grant.....Boyd Lee, Tana Udall, Ben Heap

Ben had been stepped on by a bull in a rodeo earlier in the day.  I think he lost some teeth and had stitches, but he still made it to the dance.

There's those white Guess jeans again!

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Prom....which we actually made it to...late, and then left early.

11-19-2008-22-52-31-292_edited-1 A great shot of Spence choking me.  If only I'd known back then the UFC moves he'd want to try out on me now...I might have thought twice about things. :)

On a side note:  People always find it interesting that I got my degree in Special Education and then had a special boy myself.  As I was remembering high school, I thought back to some other encounters that may have helped prepare or at least foreshadowed Spence and I having a child with special needs. 

I don't know if any of you remember Maria or Serena, but they were two girls who were in special ed in high school.  Maria Hensley was a short, petite girl with big glasses, and Serena (I don't know her last name...would someone look it up in their yearbook for me?)  was a sassy, dark-haired girl with feathered bangs and an attitude.  She used to do the "Oh no you di-in't" head shake and snap like a black  girl.  Well, these girls LOVED Spence.  When we were dating, they would be at his locker between EVERY class hoping for a little teasing from Spence, which he would always come through with.  I think that they could have taken or left me....which is totally wrong, because I had spent my whole junior year as the aide in their special ed class with Ernesto Lopez. (I guess I didn't have Spence's charisma! :)  The only  need they had for me was when they wanted to tattle on Spence for something he said or to pass along some kind of message to him. I was always impressed with Spence's kindness.  He made those girls feel good about themselves.  His teasing was never mean-spirited, it was exactly what they wanted and it made their day.  Just one more thing that makes me love him.  When the day is done and he forgets to take out the trash or doesn't do the dishes he promised to do, I can always come up with off-setting qualities that make those little "insurrections" not seem so important. 


I just found this photo in an album Trish gave me.  He started early charming the ladies with his guitar! :)

A Conversation With Chase

We just happened to have this conversation on the ride home tonight, but it's typical of most of our conversations in which it's like pulling teeth to get Chase to tell you he loves you instead of endlessly teasing. He loves to tease....especially when it comes to his Dad.  I actually cut down on the number of "meanies" and "puppies"!

Me:  "I love you, Chase."

Chase: "Meanie."

Me: "I love you, Chase."

Chase: "Meanie, meanie."

Me:  "I love you, you say, I love you Mom."

Chase "Meanie."

Me:  "Say, I love you Mom."

Chase:  "Meanie."

Me:  "You little punk.  Say I love you Mom."

Chase:  "I luuuu.................MOM!"

Me:  "Yay! You're such a good boy.  I love you too. Who else do you love?"

Chase:  "Papa."

Me:  "Who else?"

Chase:  "Gram."

Me: "Who else?"

Chase:  "Hay-dee." (Hayes)

Me:  "What about Dad?"

Chase:  "Puppy."

Me:  "Don't you love Dad?"

Chase:  "Puppy" (he laughs) "Puppy, puppy!"

Me: "Daddy!"

Chase: "Puppy, puppy."

Me:  "Daddy!"

Chase:  (he finally gives in) "Dad.....daddy, daddy."

Me:  "You love Dad?"

Chase:  "I luuuuu................DAD!"

Me:  "Thanks for that unsolicited love, Chase.  We can always count on you."

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That's a wink if you couldn't tell! 

November 26, 2008

My Guitar Hero

No, not the video game.  Spence of course.  You know, they say that the things that attract you to your spouse initially are the things that drive you crazy later on....have any of you ever heard this?  Well, that would have been true about guitar when we were first married and a few years after that.  The money spent on equipment, the noise, the time, being in a band, band members, playing in clubs, etc., etc. etc.  But now, it doesn't bother me so much. This may be due to the fact that we live at the potato farm (not a club in sight) and he usually only plays with his brother and they moved all the stuff down to the barn. :) 

The other night, I put the kids to bed and went down to take pictures of one of their jam sessions.  Spence plays guitar, Trey sings and plays guitar, and BJ plays the keyboard.  And you want to know what?  They're pretty dang good.  I don't know if they'll ever get all the members required to have an actual band, but they enjoy it.  It's a nice stress reliever after a long day of punching cattle.  Hayes and I just wish they'd get another drummer so that we can sneak down again and play on the drum set...Hayes was getting pretty good until the drummer took his stuff.  I guess he and I will stick with Rock Band for now. 

I had to add some effects to the pictures to make them more "rockin"! :)  Isn't their studio/tack shed cool?

enhanced band copy

guitar spence


trey sing

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I'm their Number One Fan!

How to make blogging easier:

I thought I would pass this little bit of info on for any of you who are feeling like your blogging is taking too much time like I was.  I opened a blog account over a year ago, but never did anything with it because it took so long to upload pictures.  Then I stumbled upon a free download from windows called Live Writer.  It has made blogging so much quicker and easier for me.  It takes a little getting used to, but the thing I like is that you can import your pictures quick, do all of your writing, and then just hit publish and walk away.  It automatically publishes your post to your blog and  you don't have to wait while it loads the 45 pictures  you took of your day on the ranch! :)  If any of you try it, let me know what you think of it.  And maybe there are some tools out there similar to Live Writer that are better (but they've got to be free)...clue me in if you already use a similar program.  I'd love your input.

Here's the link:  Windows Live Writer

November 21, 2008

I love this kid! (finally getting a gratitude post done Marcie!)

The saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is so true.  Even if it's just overnight.  Grandma Trish had Chase spend the night last night.  He hasn't been sleeping well since we changed his seizure medicine and an uninterrupted night of sleep was blissful for Spence and I. Chase has also been extremely jealous of the two home-schooling cousins who get to go to Grandma's house every Tues and Thurs for school.  He cried and cried yesterday when we dropped Hayes off at Grandma's and then proceeded on to the school to drop him off.  "Gram, gram" he cried over and over.  So it was perfect timing when Trish called to have him come over. 

When she brought him back this morning, he looked so cute in his little sweatsuit that I just had to grab the camera for a few shots.

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He found a dead bird on the lawn (thank you cats) and was showing it to me.  He's telling me about its beak.

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He still BARELY fits on the big wheel.  He's saying vroom vroom.

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Today I'm grateful for my boy Chase.

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Spence and his boys when we lived at Campus Heights at NAU. Now THAT was an experience!  Talk about NO sleep. I think all of these old pictures were taken in Flagstaff when Chase was about 6-8 months old. We used to call him Yoda because of his ears.  Affectionately of course. :)11-21-2008-13-02-42-877_edited-6




When Chase was about three months old, we started noticing these little funny jerks he'd do with his arms.  His eyes would also flick up to the sky and then back quickly that you might not even notice.  But Spence and I thought it was strange, so we took him into the doctor.  They at first dismissed us, saying it was just reflexes, but as they continued and started developing into more significant "jerks" of his limbs, we got a referral to a neurologist and took him in for testing.  I found this journal entry the other day when I was cleaning out some papers.  I can't even remember writing it.

"On Friday (4/25/09) we took Chase to Dr. Kaplan, the head of Pediatric Neurology at Phoenix Christians.  He diagnosed him with benign myoclonic/akinetic seizures.  He had an EEG that same day and the results came back normal.  Thank goodness!  Dr. Kaplan thinks Chase will grow out of his little seizures within the next few months.  I'm keeping a journal for the next few weeks to keep track of their frequency and then we'll discuss if we should put Chase on medication or not.  We feel very blessed that he is going to be fine"

It kind of makes me sad to read, but he is ours and we love him.  Do I wish the seizures had gone away and everything would have turned out "fine"?? Of course. I wish he didn't have to struggle.  I wish he could walk and talk like a normal 6-year-old. But this is the life we've been dealt and I really do believe we are blessed in our trials.  You know how you always wish your kids wouldn't grow up so fast.  I've felt lucky with Chase because he hasn't.  I got to have a baby longer and a toddler longer.  He is still a cuddly little boy who shares his love more freely than most six-year-olds. I feel lucky to have that.  There are more blessings that I can name that have come to our family because of Chase. 

Since I started writing "our story", I've thought a lot about how when you're young, you never even consider the possibility that your kids might have problems or the trials that your life may hold for you.  I have a picture on my fridge from Jeanie Mangum's funeral that captures the feeling of what I'm talking about:


(Lon and Jeanie Mangum)

They look so young and innocent and full of promise, with no idea the struggles they will have to endure. I know that with Aaron's disabilities and Jeanie's health problems, as they got older, it took its toll.  My heart goes out to their family and especially to Lon who has cared for both of them for years.  He has truly endured his trials well.

I don't know how I will be when I get old (I may end up with a bad attitude:), but I hope that I can continue to find joy in the journey and appreciate all of moments that make up a life well-lived.  I am grateful for my family.

Some things about Chase:

1. He is full of it.  Full of life and fun.  A true ham and a tease.

2.  He loves strongly and shows affection freely.

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4. He loves to make messes.  I would almost say he finds joy in messes.

5.  He loves eggs, broccoli, and milk. He eats all day long.

6.  He loves his brother Hayes. He calls him Hay-dee.

7.  He's stubborn.  There is no bribe in the world that will work if Chase really doesn't want to do something.

8.  His smile can light up a room. He can take more tickling than any other kid I've ever known. He always asks for more.

9.  He has the best eyelashes around.

10.  He loves animals, but has no grasp of the concept "gentle".  His puppy still loves him even though he chokes her constantly.

06 20 08_122311.  He loves to wrestle and rough-house.  He's dangerous with a sword.

12.  He is a cartoon junkie.  Sponge Bob was his favorite for a long time, but he's hooked on Barney now...thank goodness.

13.  He loves holiday decorations....especially Halloween, but I was surprised to see that he is enjoying the Thanksgiving decorations just as much.

14.  He wants everything he sees in a store, but rarely plays with toys....other than swords.

15.  He loves to watch America's Funniest Home Videos, especially the ones involving animals.

16.  He loves his Grandmas and Papas.  He loves his Uncle Trey more than just about anyone.06 20 08_1215

17.  He loves bathroom humor.  All you have to do is say toot or burp and he cracks up.

18.  He loves the outdoors.  He loves to go down to the barn or out on the ranch.

19.  He makes us smile.

November 15, 2008

What's Your Favorite Pie Recipe?

With Thanksgiving closing in, I've been thinking a lot about pie.  I have my definite favorite pie, and thought it would be fun to pie recipe swap.  I'm counting on all of you!  So here's mine and I'm hoping you'll all find the time to post yours so that I can try some new ones this year. 

I put this recipe in the St. Johns Stake Cookbook, but forgot to mention that I use bottled lemon for the 1/2 cup and then use the actual lemon rind to "kick it up a notch" as Emeril would say!

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

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I love this pie because it is tart and creamy.

1 c sugar
1 c milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (I use Real Lemon from the bottle)
3 ½ Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. grated lemon peel

Mix the above ingredients together in a medium sized saucepan (a heavy non-stick pan with a thick bottom works best)  Cook over medium heat (stirring so that it doesn’t  burn on the bottom) until it boils.  Boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat.

¼ c butter

Stir in the butter until it melts. Let the mixture cool a little and then fold in:

1 c sour cream

Pour filling into a baked, deep-dish pie crust and refrigerate 4 hours. 
Garnish with whipped cream candied lemon peel strips if you want to get fancy….I never do.

So share the love and post your favorite pie recipe...or send it to me and I'll post it here!

My pie crust recipe makes more than enough dough for two pies, so Chase went to town on the extra dough.  He rolled out dough for at least 30 minutes without stopping.

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He worked and worked...notice the tongue. Flour and dough were a-flyin'.

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And he giggled and squealed and thoroughly had a ball.

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I better teach this boy to cook!

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