Friday, June 19, 2009

Ever Wish You Had Brought Your Camera?

Today I did! I was driving home from work to pick up Dallin from the babysitter. His babysitter lives in Farmington which is where Lagoon is located as well as a lot of open fields. There is a ranch that is located just to the side of the freeway and the Farmington "spaghetti bowl" which is what we Utahns call a mess of freeway on-and-off ramps. This ranch has about 20 buffalo that roam around as well as horses and cows.

Today, the buffalo were close to the road, just on the otherside of an electric fence. They were very close to a big intersection and the ranch sits on one corner of the intersection. Just on the other side of the fence (inside the fence)was a red fire hydrant and a big buffalo rubbing itself on it! I thought, how many times do you see a buffalo rubbing against a fire hydrant? I berated myself for not bringing the camera with me like I had been inspired to do. I was running late and decided against going back into the house to get it. BUT, like I said, I had been inspired by the Spirit to go get it but I chose not too. Bummer, would have been a great shot!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Update on Church Meetings for our Stake

I received an email from a Bishopric member in our ward that we are not going to have the special Stake Conference this weekend to sustain a new Stake President and that it is postponed until further notice. That includes all three meetings that were going to be held (the priesthood meeting, adult meeting and Sunday meeting).

Also, I received an email from our Relief Society Secretary stating that all of our visiting teaching should be done by telephone. If anyone we visit(telephone) teach has flu symptons, we are supposed to let the Relief Society President or Elders Quorum President know about it.

One interesting development is that our Stake was chosen to participate in the Relief Society Chior in the next General Relief Society Conference. I would love to be a part of that, but I doubt they will want anyone from our Stake there with us passing around the swine flu. We'll see. I'll keep you posted when I hear more about this.

I went looking at the church website about the "prophesy" I had previously mentioned and I couldn't find anything other than that we shouldn't live on borrowed light. President Heber C. Kimball was the prophet that stated:“To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves. If you do not have it, how can you stand?” (in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1945], p. 450). I will let you kow if I find anything more on this subject.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Literal Prophesy Being Fulfilled

I remember being taught in Seminary many years ago about a coming time when a family would need to be able to stand on their own feet spiritually and when church wouldn't be able to hold meetings for a time. Well, for our stake it is coming to pass now. Because of the numbers of people in our stake coming down with the swine flu, they have canceled ALL meetings including Girls Camp that was supposed to start today. The Elders are directed to call certain camp leaders if they learn of a need for food. Since there is an abundance of food bought already for camp, they will use it for the needy in the stake.

This weekend we are supposed to be holding a special Stake Conference for the express purpose of sustaining a new Stake Presidency. Now we are awaiting direction from the Area and Seventy church leaders to see if this meeting will be held as planned.

In this time of uncertainty, I know it is important to continue to teach the Gospel to my children. Being the teacher of 6 and 7 year olds at church has been great training to be able to teach my own children at home. Each week I would go to the Church website at and print the current lesson. I don't like using the manual that was given to me since I can't mark it up and it would get well worn too fast. Since church is canceled, I plan on holding a mini-meeting in our home. I don't look forward to being the main person to do it but at least I will get some help from my husband. Others aren't so lucky. I want to continue to hold prayers, a lesson, singing time and scripture study and I'm not sure what else we can come up with for us. It will have to be tailored so that the older kids will be able to grow while my two-year-old is also learning.

Last week when we got to church, we were told that only sacrament meeting was going to be held because of the swine flu in our stake. So after sacrament, we all slowly went home, lessons and songs already prepared and wating to be used. When we got home, after grabbing lunch and changing clothes, I sat the kids down and gave them the lesson I had prepared for my class at church. It was shortened but be had a lesson! Next time I will try to be more formal about it and we can get dressed in our church clothes for it. This will be interesting, but we can do it and I know that any efforts will be blessed.

The biggest challenge is the uncertainty of how long this will last. How long will we not be able to take the sacrament? How and when are Temple recomends going to get renewed? This will be a struggle for those who aren't used to having access to tithing funds when they can't regularly get them taken out by using the special forms. Mailing them to the Bishop is possible, if you have the forms, but I can see how extra money laying around will be tempting enough for some to forgo paying it. Ah, the sifting of the wheat from the chaff. It can really get personal now, can't it. I don't want to be the chaff that the prophets in the scriptures have long fortold of. Did they see me? Did they see you?

For those of you not in Utah, the swine flu has been increasing in intensity here. Most are mild cases and the activity of this illness is like a moderatly busy flu season- but the real "seasonal" flu is over right now. The CDC is now wanting the doctors to treat all flu symtoms as if it is swine flu. Since the CDC is flooded with samples to be tested, only those who are hospitalized will be fully tested. Everyone else will be given the seasonal "rapid" flu test. It will sometimes come back positive for swine flu but isn't reliable because many who test negative with it, actually do have the illness.

Personally, I'm worried about this winter when the virus may have mutated enough to become more deadly. If you ask me, I would rather get this illness now and build up an immunity to it. Especialy while it is so mild. The problem is if I was to become the host in which the disease decides to mutate into something deadly, I would feel sooooo bad!!!! I guess I'll just wait and see if we get it. Maybe the illness we had a couple of weeks ago was the real deal but it was so mild, that even when we brought one child in to be tested, they said it was only a mild respiratory illness. Well, two weeks later and the "officials" are saying it is more widespread than they thought. Imagine that!

I could go on about some of the things that have bothered me about how ill-prepared we were to stop the spread of this, but really, we're all human. And being such a human that has to work tomorrow- I need to head to bed!! I hope this gives others ideas on how they will handle such a situation of having your main, but not only, source of spiritual uplift- church- being closed for an unannounced period of time. Bless you in your efforts!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blossoms= Happy Thoughts

Our flowers are blossoming so Ryan went out a couple of weeks ago and took these photos. I edited them (not much- he just hadn't got to them before I did) and I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! They put a smile on my face and every-so-often I can be found sniffing the flowers!

This bleeding heart plant can be found in our next-door neighbors yard.

My clematis plants are about 3-4 years old and now cover my front porch railing!

Sweet William macro by Ryan.

My sweet Dallin William having fun in his jeep!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tonsilectomy and Septoplasty Surgery for Me! Yippy!

Note: Scroll down for pictures of my throat before and after surgery as well as a photo of my nose before surgery.

This was the attitude- "Hurray for me"- that I had going into the operating room on May 15th. I can't be any farther away from that attitude than I am now, one week later (As of June 9th I'm three weeks post-op)after having the surgery. What a horrible, agonizing week I've had since then. And I've actually had no problems with infections or too much bleeding- but it was still the worst pain I've been in for such an extended period of time. I should start by going back to my reasons for electing to have this done to me.

Ever since my I started having problems with allergies as a young adult, I've been susceptible to sinus infections. I thought that nothing was worse than going through a sinus infection while pregnant and not being able to take anything other than antibiotics and Tylenol. Fast forward 10 years and yearly antibiotics for such infections and you end up with my first reason for getting my nose straightened and my tonsils out.

Oh, for those who may not know- I had a deviated septum (essentially a crooked part in my nose) in TWO different places. The surgery to correct such a problem is called Septoplasmy. It's a little difficult to explain how they repair such a thing, but you can click here and find out more or click here to see a drawing of a deviated septum. Having a deviated septum can cause your nasal passages on one side to become blocked or partly closed. This makes it difficult for your nose and sinuses to drain properly. It also makes it harder to breath since only one nostril is fully open. This adds to problems sleeping at night and snoring because the passages aren't open properly so you compensate by breathing through your mouth. Most people don't even know that they have such a problem because they have been coping with it for so long.

This photo is for the benefit of medical science and increasing the knowledge of others- but it sure is embarrassing for me to show to the people who know me. I know that others will be seeking out this type of photo as an example.

Pre-op photo of my deviated septum taken at home

Note: Post-op the nose is still misaligned from the outside, but I can feel the difference in the inside as I breath in. The nasal passage on my left on the inside is much more open. The procedure was done inside my nose with a few stitches on the inside that dissolved.

Now, go back about 4-5 years ago when my husband was having many weight, sleep apnea and heart problems. He was referred to many different specialists including an ENT which is an ear, nose and throat doctor. After he had seen this specialist and had a sleep study done, he was asked to use a CPAP machine at night. This is a contraption that has a mask to fit over your nose or mouth or both depending on what you breath through at night. then, humidified air is blown through it to create a "positive airflow". This means air is pumped through the mask which forces your body to breath it in more than it would without the continuous flow. Just a note- the air is not attached to an oxygen tank, it is just normal air with a little bit of humidity added so you don't get dried out. I hated the feeling when I tried his mask on and if you have problems with claustrophobia, you would hate it too!

Nevertheless, Ryan used this for a while before electing to have his tonsils and uvula as well as part of his soft palate removed. He really felt better after about a month of healing. He had more energy and was able to take better care of himself. He ended up losing over 40 lbs and has kept it off for a couple years now.

This is the same dilemma many people face- having a lot of weight to lose, but being too tired to exercise because your body is not getting the oxygen it needs at night to repair itself. People who have full-blown sleep apnea stop breathing for seconds at a time- sometimes it can be thirty seconds or more. Then their brain realizes this and they startle/wake up enough to breath again. This can be happening several times an hour. As a result, they wake up in the morning feeling worse than when they went to bed. Some people have headaches right as they wake up and others self-medicate by drinking caffeinated beverages to get some energy. Others over-indulge in carbohydrates because your body craves them when you are tired. Most people don't have energy to even think about getting some exercise, let alone get through the day without falling asleep. It really is a vicious cycle.

Now, I was seeing myself heading down that path and the momentum was picking up. I was waking up more tired and with my allergies, my passages were even more closed off and swollen. I had a bad sinus infection this spring and realized this wasn't getting any better for me. As we age, our skin becomes looser and so the back of the mouth doesn't regain it's shape that it had in our youth. This adds to snoring as there isn't much room for air to pass through. I had the wonderful joy of having an extra flap of skin in the back of my throat which adds to a smaller passage. Not only that, but little pockets would form in my tonsils and the flap and collect food particles in there that would harden over time. I couldn't do anything about it. I know it sounds gross, but luckily I didn't have bad breath like someone with halitosis might have. But those older food particles could have started infections eventually. There really was a reason why I needed to get my tonsils out!

WARNING: Pictures of the inside of my mouth!

Notice in the pre-op picture where the arrow is on your left. These pockets would trap food and get bigger. The food would harden and sometimes break loose and come out. Very gross!! The other arrow is showing my extra flaps of skin that would just take up room in my throat. They also added to snoring sounds like a sail flapping in the

Also notice how swollen and red my throat is from allergies.

Next: Three weeks post-op.......

In the post-op picture you can see how much wider the back of my mouth is. The extra flaps are gone as well as the tonsils/pockets. I guess you can't see the area very well of where my tonsils used to be, but believe me, they aren't there! My throat is still red and scabs form where the skin was cauterized to stop the bleeding. I feel much better now and my husband hasn't noticed any snoring!

I hope those who read this appreciate the pictures because they are hard to get when your camera wants to focus on the closest thing which is my teeth or tongue. Even with a good camera (Nikon D40) and a second person taking the picture, it was really hard to get good photos.

For those wanting to know how my recovery went, I will be writing that up soon. That is another story in itself!

Update on the Gerbils

Yesterday a guy called about the gerbils of Sydney's that we advertised for free on He had previously raised gerbils and sold the extras to pet stores. He wanted to raise some more again with his two daughters to teach them responsibility. He took ALL of our extra gerbils.

Sydney now has four adult gerbils in two cages- two females and two males that are separated by their sex. It's nice to not have to worry anymore about the extras. They really are cute and fun to watch. It was also fun to see the different stages that the babies went through. Sydney is happy that the others have a good life ahead of them but she will miss having the babies around. They all had their eyes open and she kept a baby from the first litter we had that is now an adult. Ah, the drama of pet keeping!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Passed Up...

He did it! Tyler finally passed me up in height! He's now 5' 6 3/4" tall. I'm at 5' 6" even though in the picture I look shorter. I was holding the camera up and wasn't extending myself. Also the angle is kind of bad. Enough about me though! He is growing up fast now and is projected to get to 6 feet tall according to the growth charts. He is only 12 1/2 years old!

Tyler had a great year in school and was able to get on the honor roll. He also was nominated and received the President's Award for Academic Excellence and the award was signed by the President of the United States. He is a bright young man who loves to please his teachers. He has was chosen by one of his two teachers as the top boy in his class- not necessarily academically, but because of motivation, and improvement, although he is very bright. The top boy and girl got to pick out a book for the teacher to buy for them. Tyler chose a Star Wars book "Republic Commando: True Colors" that is 481 pages long. He loves reading science fiction and will ask me to take him to the library to get books to read. But this kid is not only smart, but well liked. He has many friends at school and church. The girls like him because he is nice to them.

At home, he can be counted on to do what I ask most of the time. If something doesn't get done, it's just because he forgot- not because he wasn't going to do it. He changes Dallin's diapers when I ask, takes out the trash, swaps lawn mowing with me, will shovel the snow, help people move things since he is so strong, and does the dishes and wants to help ME with my math homework.

He loves going to the assisted living home to pass the Sacrament to the elderly adults that live there. I stayed with him a couple of times and watched how my boy treated the adults so sweetly and used their names. He told them he was glad to see them and hoped to see them next week. He loves to volunteer to do this job and sometimes his leader has to remind him to share the blessings and let the other boys help out too! It makes my heart swell to see my children treat others who are less fortunate than themselves with such respect. A person can go far if they remember to treat all people with kindness. Especially in the eternal scheme of things.

I've actually wanted to go to the elderly home in our ward for some time, but hadn't found the time to do it until now. Since Tyler needs a ride sometimes, I have an excuse to drop in and see how the people are and how the home is run. Being a CNA has given me more self-confidence to be in such places and know that I am welcomed and valued for any effort made in making others lives better. I love that Tyler is getting that same joy that I feel. I love you Tyler and I'm so grateful to have you as my son!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cute Gerbil Pics

I have too many pictures to post, but since I just added these to KSL to sell some of our gerbils, I thought I would post them. Sydney is our Vet. Tech. in training and picked up 9 (four adults and 5 babies) gerbils not too long ago. We thought it would be fun to let her raise them and sell them for a few extra bucks. Well, with the economy the way it is, not many people are looking to add mouths to feed at their homes. We'll be lucky to give away the extras. She was told she can keep three or four but the males and females are going to be separated. We now have close to twenty gerbils. They are great fun to hold and very curious. Enjoy the cute pics!