Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Night

Laura hasn't napped when healthy since she was 18 months old. It's only when she's sick. Today I was cleaning the kitchen because all 4 missionaries were coming for dinner and I heard her at the computer. But then it got silent, really silent. I knew I hadn't heard her leave the room. I found her sound asleep at the computer. Guess she needed her energy for trick-or-treating because she took a 2 hour nap! I even had to run to the neighbors (the only ones home are the ones we have only talked to 3 times in 3 years) and ask if she could come watch her while I got Katelyn from school. That's how out of it she was.
Apparently she got her second wind because she was raring to go for our ward's trunk-or-treat. Yes they held it on Halloween night. It was only an hour and just the candy, parade, and prizes.

Here they are with Elder Anderson. The two adore him. Which is really funny because when Elder Tate was his comp they liked him more. But with Elder Slade they like Anderson better. Girls are just wierd. LOL!

Here they are with our Samoan buddies. Katelyn and Tiani are the same age/grade and Laura and Timmy are the same age. They only love 2 blocks over from us and we are all fairly new to the ward so we've hit it off big time. I even pick up Tiani for school every morning because 4 of the 5 adults in their home work and the 5th is the grandma and her doctor wants her to limit her walking. I have to take Katelyn anyhow so I gladly said I'd help out.

Back at our house, getting ready to go around our neighborhood. Clark takes them. I sit out with a lawn chair, a good book, a huge travel mug of ice water and I pass out candy all without leaving my chair.

Katelyn fixing her tiara. This is the second year she chose to be Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty for those who don't know their Disney Princesses).

Our pumpkin family. I did the big one. Katelyn drew the faces on the little ones and I carved them for her. They are simple but I got lots of compliments on them tonight.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cerritos Stake 50th Celebration

Saturday was our stake's 50th celebration. They did a huge 50's themed afternoon. The afternoon started off with a section of the parking lot set up with games played in the 50s. Katelyn loved the jump rope the best. There was dogs, chips and lemonade. Plus root beer floats. Food popular then and now.

Later we went through the "time tunnel" of the foyers and hallways was set up with tables with things used in the 50s and pictures hung depicting both secular things of the 50s and the stake through the years. It was pretty cool. My girls got to see what an old manual typewriter looked like and an old hair dryer. They were quite impressed.

Then you ended up in the cultural hall. First past stake presidents spoke. They were to speak briefly and then a dvd presentation was to be shown. But my fellow LDS readers will understand and probably laugh when I say that they went a little over time and the kids waiting to perform were getting a bit restless.

Then the fun began.........There was a "cultural arts" program. This was basically a 50s musical. A group of teen aged girls came out dancing and lip syncing to 9-to-5. They were dressed as waitresses from Peggy's Sue's diner. They were a great lead in. Then a cast of 4 men and 4 women were old school chums meeting at the diner before it was closed down. They had some fun one-liners and they sang a variety of 50s songs. I'd say the men rocked the house when they sang their rendition of Sha-Na-Na-Na-Na and Blue Moon. Then every now and then they'd say something like "Hey remember this song" or "Does anyone remember any of the old dances like the swim or the hand jive?" The adults would exit and a few seconds later primary kids from 5 different wards came out. There was one Sunbeam that got loud cheers when he did the hand jive. Man he flew on it! Our ward....Cerritos 1st.....danced to Splish Splash. One of the male teachers dressed in those old striped swimsuits, his bath brush was a giant toilet brush, he had a giant rubber ducky, it was great. But the highlight of that number was........

Laura! Leave it up to one of my kids. She ran out before the rest and started to dance. Then her eyes got huge at the audience and even more huge when she saw she was the only one out there. She looked adorable in that pink poofy poodle skirt up there. Of course I didn't have my camera on just yet. Grrrr! She ran back and then they all came out. And then they got into position (which was kneeling down to pop back up when the music started) and Laura was still standing, finger up her nose with one hand and the other waving and hollering "Hiiii mommy!" over and over til I had to wave at her. I was way in the back by the way. Finally she started dancing with all the rest but she was off cue a few times and would look like "what are we....oh yeah, that's what we're doing." Then the number ended. And you guessed it.....she was the last one on stage dancing. The people behind us were ooohing and ahhhhing over her between laughing and I just had to turn around and say "She's ours!" with a big grin. Never a dull moment with us around. I think she gets that from my side of the family. :)

The evening ended with an all age dance. We stayed for a bit but then headed to Bob's Big Boy for dessert with my parents. I should have taken pics there.....the manager and the waitress loved that they came in costume and had the classic hot fudge cakes and cherry cokes.

And now for your viewing enjoyment, a montage of the girls on their big day. (oh and a big shout out to Kirsten for helping me figure out how to post this! Thanks!)

View this montage created at One True Media
Cerritos CA 50th Celebration

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Prayers Needed Update

For those following on the status of my friend's Chrissie's son Mike and my grandma here are the much needed updates.

I don't even know where to begin with Chrissie. It's not me going through this, not my child and I don't want to get anything wrong. The link to her post is on my blog list to the right if you want to follow up for yourselves. Just know that they really do need the continued prayers and again for my LDS family and friends, please feel free to add them to the temple prayer rolls as well. Chrissie, I think of you guys everyday and prayer for Mike and your family every day. Please know that if I lived closer I'd help out in a heart beat whenever I could. And girl send me the address to your mom's please, I still have the gift for Katie here and ready to send.

News on my grandma. Gosh again I don't know where to begin. When I posted about it, the doctor pretty much had written her off as dying really soon and having dementia. She had come home from the hospital that same weekend and was weak and in bed, eating only soft foods cause she couldn't move her tongue to chew. She knew who people were but then would say something like "Oh no! The ceiling fan is leaking! The pipes burst in the fan!" or "We have got to hide Kevin (my cousin) and your dad! The police are after your dad and the FBI is after Kevin!" or "John (my dad) so your Sunny's (my mom) 8th husband." (to which my nutty dad would break into song with "I'm Henry the 8th I am, I'm Henry the 8th!", ever the sarcastic one, LOL!) And my favorite when she looked at my mom and said "I had 3 kids.....Phil, Sunny and you." I keep telling my mom she should have asked who she was. (really she only had two kids, uncle Phil and my mom, Sunny but blast I'll never get to find out who she thought my mom was now) It was so bad we had to keep a sense of humor about it or we'd go nuts with her comments. But slowly she began to eat meals. She's insisting on trying to use her walker. She may never walk without the aid of one around the house and may need to be push in a wheelchair when leaving the house. But she's taking a few more steps each day with my dad's help. And the dementia? Well supposedly that's not reversable but she's in her right mind again. So was it dementia or not? We have no clue. She did have a series of stroke though. That's the set diagnosis. They aren't sure if they were over time and the most recent one hit hard or if they were all in one weekend. And once you've had even one stroke it ups your chance of another. And well she's had a series of them. In the hospital the doctor gave her weeks to 8 months to live. She is at home with hospice care a few times a week and a nurse once a week to check vitals.

But she seems to be doing a lot better so it's all what ifs now. I think it has a lot to do with the Priesthood blessing my cousin Sam gave her the weekend she got home from the hospital. That weekend, my sister and her husband came down from Vegas and my brother had come from Long Beach (CA that is) with his daughter. Then the next day, my cousin Kevin was there with his daughter and ex-wife and my cousin Sam and his family from Arizona were all there. Grandma had Sam and my dad give her a blessing (Clark was not there, Laura was home pretty sick that weekend or he would have taken part as well). In the blessing, Sam said that though her time on earth was short, that it was not quite her time. She still had things to accomplish to help her family with before she passes on. The only thing I can think of is that I have felt impressed for some time now to sit down with grandma and go through all the pictures she has and write down names since most of her pics have no names written on the backs of them. Other things were said as well but I don't remember them. Just that main thing stuck out to me. And she has done amazingly well since that blessing. This month has been crazy buzy but I plan on heading out there one weekend and going through those pictures for sure.

Not that I don't want prayers for my grandma, but it just struck me as something powerful just now.....I'm asking for prayers for someone who has lived a long life and may very well be in the final months of it. And I'm asking for prayers for a little boy with a tumor who has a whole life ahead of him. One needs prayers that she may live out her final months (or years if Heavenly Father chooses) as pain free as possible and the other needs prayers that doctors will be able to figure out what kind of tumor it is exactly so they can start treatment on it asap so that he can live a long wonderful life. And man the tears are flowing big time and I'm going to go grab some tissue and get down on my knees and say a prayer right now because I just need to.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pa's Pumpkin Patch (part 2)

So yesterday I posted the pictures from this year. I couldn't help feel a bit nostalgic when I saw Laura sitting on the huge pumpkins that are set up right as you walk into the patch. So I thought I'd share pics from previous years we've been so you can see how much the girls have grown.

First up, 2006. That was the year we found out about the pumpkin patch. Laura was all of 11 months old that year. Not yet walking (she didn't walk til she was 18 months old). Look how little she is! Even the smaller pumpkins were bigger than her. And the costume.......a cute pair of jammies I found at a second hand store for $2 that year. In some of the pics she looks a bit stunned at the size of these pumpkins. Katelyn was almost 5 that year. Gosh these kids have grown so much.

These next 3 just crack me up. These are just your larger ones that you might carve up and stick on your porches. Even most of those were bigger than Laura. And they weighed a lot more too. We were still trying to get weight back on her after a long haul of her gaining a few then losing twice of what she'd gain. A month later she finally started gaining again. But I do believe she was all of 10 lbs here and the pumpkin we took home was a good 20 lbs.

Next up, 2007. Katelyn was a month shy of 6 and Laura a month shy of 2. November birthdays. LOL! Katelyn's hair is longer and Laura is a slightly bigger. Still pretty small though. And not quite weaned from the paci yet.

And this year, 2008. My little hams. I told them to look at the camer and smile and both of them struck the face in hands pose at the same exact time. Okay maybe not's fall....we'll call them turkeys instead. LOL! Katelyn's hair is shorter since we cut it this year. Both girls are much taller. Laura is still pretty petite for her age but she's definitely grown from last year.
Well that was fun! I hope you all enjoyed my little walk through pumpkin patch memory lane as much as I did.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pa's Pumpkin Patch (part 1)

Over the weekend we took our annual trip to Pa's Pumpkin Patch in Long Beach, CA. We discovered this place when Katelyn took a field trip here in preschool. She had so much fun there that we went back as a family and picked out our own pumpkins that year. It's our 3rd year going.
Katelyn, Laura, Kathryn
Katelyn and Laura on the big pumpkins

The girls rode the ponies.

They also rode a few other rides.

We posed for some photo ops.

We all agree that Clark looks the silliest. :)
And we can't forget what we came here for!
Katelyn and her choice.
Can she lift it?
Yes she can! Here's Laura's choice.
We had such fun and it's fun to see how much the girls have grown. Stay tuned for some pics of the girls and Pa's Pumpkin Patch through the years. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Prayers Needed

I know there are quite a few people who read my blog but don't always comment. If you are one of those readers, thank you.

If you are one of those readers, please read, I'm asking for prayers.

First, you may have noticed the tag on top over to the right on my blog. I'm sure I won't get it all correct, I'm just an online friend of Mike's mommy. But the important thing is that Mike and his family need our prayers in a big way. Mike is an angelic looking boy with a twinkle of mischeif in his gorgeous eyes. He's the beloved little brother of Katie who is 6 and the only son of Matt and Chrissie. He is loved by many. Within the past month Mike needed an MRI to rule out anything having to do with speech delays. His parents were told he had speech apraxia and I believe the MRI was to rule things out. When the results came back there were some abnormalities. While waiting for the appointment to discuss this, Mike woke up one morning with some swelling in his eyes (I think that's right). I believe within a few days he was admitted to the hospital and doctors began running tests to figure out what was going on. At this point all they know is a tumor on his spinal/brain chord. (I might be getting this part wrong too) They do not know if it is malignant or benign. It's all a waiting game. They do think whatever it is that it will be a rare form. Having any loved one go through something like this is difficult. Having a child go through this, esp one so young has got to be hell. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. While not the best of friends and certainly having our differences, my heart is just aching for Chrissie and what she must be feeling these days. Please keep this family in your prayers.....and for my LDS friends/family if you feel the need to do so please add their names to the temple rolls where you live. They are not LDS but she says she'll take all the prayers others can give.

And now sadness has struck my family as well.

Earlier this year, my grandma tripped over a sidewalk in a parking lot and injured her face pretty badly. She was finally feeling better from that and she had a worse fall in front of my parent's house. (she's been living with them for the past 3 years) A long hospital stay, a convelescant hospital stay and finally back home and still she hasn't been 100% to where she was before. Grandma Maxine has always been a spry active woman even when she should have slowed down. But with a fall that bad we were told she wouldn't be spry again. She's had her good days and bad but she seemed to be doing better. Sadly this past Tuesday, while my mom was baby-sitting Laura for me, grandma had another fall. We don't know the details. Mom was out here only a few hours. When she got home, she found gran on the floor of her room. She'd apparently had a bad weekend. Not always knowing who mom was, forgetting things like already getting a glass of milk when she had 2 others in her room already. Monday night she had a really bad night, kept mom up late with her wanderings thinking a car was missing from the driveway among other things. Then Tuesday morning dad found her on the floor looking for a sock saying she had to go find her mama. My great-grandma passed away when my mom was pregnant with me I believe. But because grandma was sleeping when she left, mom figured it was still safe to come out.

Then she came home and found her on the floor. I feel bad. I know it's not my fault. But I still feel as if it were my fault for needing mom to come watch Laura while I went to a doctor appointment. Mom can't lift her due to having her arm prepped for future dialysis so she had to call 911. She was taken to a trauma center. Once she started coming to, she still could not talk or eat, still did not know who mom is, where she is, what happened. An MRI was done (I'm beginning to hate MRI's!) and it was discovered that she had a series of small strokes that brought on advances stages of dementia. The doctor told mom today that it could take anywhere from weeks to 8 months before she passes on. I haven't always gotten along with my grandma. She was very opinionated and well so am I. So we clashed a lot. But we loved each other regardless and it's hard to think that she won't be around much longer. And then tonight as I was starting this blog my mom called. She wanted to know if I would be upset if she didn't have them put a permanent feeding tube in. She already had to sign papers about reviving. Grandma had made it very clear in the last few years that if she ever needed life support that she did NOT want it. But she also apparently made it clear to my mom and to a couple of her close friends that she did not want to live with dementia or alzheimer's either. In this case if mom choose a feeding tube and grandma is able to use her tongue again for eating then she would still have the dementia, that's not reversable. I tearfully told my mom that I loved grandma and don't want her to pass on but that if these were her wishes then mom has a hard decision to make. I can't give my input because the final decision rests on her shoulders. I did highly suggest she get a blessing and then pray about it tonight and see what Heavenly Father wants her to do. I think I'll do the same.

I love my grandma and I never thought it would happen quite like this. Maybe it's because I had one grandparent pass away in her sleep. Then the fact that grandma Maxine has always been so strong, so able, so active. So to see her like this is very difficult for me and all of us. Please keep our family, esp my mom Sunny, in your prayers right now. With her kidney disease, I worry about her alot when times our emotional or stressful. And this is one of those times.

Thanks. I know that through prayer we will all be comforted in what we are dealing with.