Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall in Utah

We spent FHE in the mountains but as you can see there just wasn't quite enough time to really enjoy ourselves so... I checked the kids out of their classes and we PLAYED, I mean had SCHOOL in the mountains! Too bad Dad couldn't do his work in the mountains!
The kids collected leaves and took some great photos along the way. Emily even found a new little friend that we named "Sir Fuzzy Fro" He is extremely active! He crawled across 100 pages of a magazine on our drive home. Now, if we can just figure out what kind of Caterpillar he is...hmm...
We are extremely blessed to live so close to such beauty! The colors are amazing! I think the Lord knew we needed this kind of beauty so we would embrace the changing weather:)

Who needs a stuffy classroom when you can have HANDS ON learning like this?! For at least one day anyway :)
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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Camping with the Boys

Thomas was so excited to go with his dad on his very first Scout Camping trip!

The boys stuffed their gear into their packs and hiked a mile into camp for a night underneath the stars on Timp which is about 10 minutes from home!
The boys started the fire and cooked a meal for their dad's all by themselves. They had Chili Dogs which tasted wonderful! anything tastes good when your hungry right?
The boys had a great time playing games and enjoying the great outdoors. They came home VERY TIRED and STINKY:) I wonder if they will ever have a Mother/Son campout?? I'd be an excellent camper don't you think? Especially if I didn't have to cook!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Grandma Pink

It is always a special day when we get to visit with Grandma Pink. She has been so ill the past few years and she is very ready to see Grandpa again. This has been a huge trial for her because she is such a "go getter". These days it's a huge feet just to get herself out of bed! Every movement brings excruciating pain. It's amazing how she can still greet you with a smile and have positive and encouraging things to say.

Thomas has watched his dad give Grandma messages many times so he was more than happy to fill in for him. He was so tender and soft; it is great to see the love he has for his Grandma.
I know where my dad gets his sweet tooth from; his mom!
My mom on the other hand, still prefers Fiber One bars for some crazy reason:) The kids tease her that when she dies she will be buried with her running shoes and some Fiber One bars! This of course, will not be for a VERY, VERY long, long time!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

"They say it's your BIRTHDAY"...

It's hard to believe that 11 years ago I was racing up and down the stairs at the hospital trying to get Thomas to come :) Our lives have been very blessed ever since! He always had big open eyes and a grin to match, not wanting to miss a thing!
Thomas struggled with a lot of ear infections as an infant and no one would believe me until they looked inside his ears. "He is too happy" they would say. This has always been true for Thomas. You rarely see him without a smile. He is more then happy to give you a big bear hug when your day may not be going so well.
A few fun memories of Thomas are:
  1. Pulling on his Dad's and Grandpa's ears whenever he had the chance
  2. Grabbing my face in his little hands, giving me big kisses!
  3. Carrying around his dinosaur EVERYWHERE!! and always having his hand in a claw shape and one eye closed... very ferocious
  4. Cowboy boots, Woody, then of course, Buzz Lightyear
  5. Singing in the Subway bathroom at the TOP of his lungs!
  6. His BIG heart :) He is never "too cool" to tell me"Love you Mom"
Thomas is in the middle of two sisters. Living with no brothers has bothered him at times, but thanks to the Jones who have 5 boys he gets a feel for it there! Maybe being the only boy isn't so bad after all:) Having sisters has given Thomas the opportunity to show his sensitive and caring side. He is such a great brother to both of them. He has definitely learned patience and how to be "softer" (the word we had to use with him when he was little) Jac and Emily are very lucky to have Thomas as their brother. They enjoy playing with him and hanging out together.
Thomas has a love for MANY activities. He loves all sports; especially soccer at the moment:) One great thing about Thomas is that it doesn't end there. He LOVES to SING any chance he gets:) He loved learning how to play the piano too. I never had to tell him to practice. Our neighbor would comment how she would see him practicing at 6:00 a.m. when she was leaving for work!

Thomas also LOVES to READ. If you don't hear Thomas singing, most likely it's because he is cuddled up with a great book. He enjoys learning new things and challenging himself. He pushed me to let him be in the accelerated learning class at school even when he didn't know anyone else who was doing it. He has never been one to do something because "everyone else is doing it!"
Thomas is very dedicated, hard working, LOVING, fun, dramatic, enthusiastic, loud, intelligent, kind hearted, strong, creative, athletic, responsible, polite, a leader, faithful, and of course CRAZY! He has a way of lighting up the room with enthusiasm and happiness wherever he goes. It has been a wonderful 11 years :)

Happy Birthday Thomas ~ WE LOVE YOU!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The "Y" tradition

On Labor Day we hiked the "Y". We asked the kids where they wanted to go hiking and Emily was actually the one who pushed for this hike. I think she forgot how "HARD" it was :)

Thomas kept us entertained and distracted by telling us stories from the Timpanogos Storytelling festival. They were very good stories and, as you can imagine, Thomas is a very good story teller.

We did make it to the top and enjoyed the beautiful view of Utah Valley. We live in such a beautiful place!

On the way down Matt recognized Bronco Medenhall, the BYU Football coach. Thomas was in awe (and so was Matt!) Matt told him,"We are your biggest fans." I wonder how many times he hears that one. It is true; when it comes to football games we ALL enjoy them because it means going to Grandma and Grandpas house!
What would I do without these 4? I don't even want to think about it :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Provo Marathon

We have been preparing all summer long for this day and it FINALLY came! Matt started out with a knee injury in May; but after fixing his stride he was ready to go. His Africa trip made him miss two big runs but he was feeling strong.

I thought my knee was going to be an issue too, but it is amazing what correct form can do for you! During the last month I have fought tendinitis around my ankle bone. I went to the doctor last week. Knowing I would run the marathon no matter what; he suggested shoe inserts, lots of icing and 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen 3 times a day! I wanted to run so I did as I was told. About 3 days ago my lower back began to hurt. Not until this morning did it dawn on me that my kidneys were reacting to so much medicine!
It was a beautiful run with 75 runners (I know... lot's bigger then any race we've EVER seen!) It was very professional I must say! Ha Ha! We all looked at each other as the race director was telling us where we would be running. Our #1 goal was NOT to get LOST! We started above Vivian Park in Provo Canyon. At mile 8 we got to turn back UP the trail for 1 1/2 miles and then headed back down the Canyon. At mile 14 we got to do another crazy detour so we could stay on trails and not run on the roads. We ended by running on the trail to Utah Lake.

It was so fun at mile 18 when we saw Jac and Ashley jumping up and down and cheering for us. It's amazing what a lift it gives you! Matt needed it because he was hitting the "wall". After stretching for a while and walking now and then he was feeling great by mile 24.

I had decided to take my Narcolepsy medicine at mile 14 hoping it would give me an extra boost along with another 800 ml of Ibuprofen. At mile 21 my head started to spin. Now I was dealing with a tired body AND a horrible sensation that I was going to pass out! Every time I stopped to walk My eyes would roll back and my head would start spinning and I'd try to walk some more to feel better but it never quite helped. When we hit mile 23 which was a very hard time for me; my parents were sitting on a bench waiting to cheer for us! It was so wonderful to see them :)
Even though Matt could have come in sooner and a lot stronger he stayed by my side the entire time! It was so sweet of him to stay with me. He kept telling me, "We've come this far together and we are going to finish it together! I don't care about our time!" He is always amazing me with the strength that he empowers me with. He sang songs and kept me going when I felt like I couldn't run another step! We went from 8:10-8:30 minute miles to 11:00-12:00 minute miles UGH! We came in at 4 hours 16 minutes, my worst time yet but hey who cares right?! What matters is that we FINISHED!

The best part of it all was crossing the finish line holding hands with my best friend! 26th place overall. We don't have to tell people how many runners were in the race do we? We still finished the top half; not too shabby.

Not many people can say they have ran a marathon with their spouse. We feel pretty lucky! It made it all worth it. Even feeling like I was going to pass out for the last hour of our run! (oh yea, and for an hour after) I know this sounds absolutely crazy to non-runners but for those of us who love running; it just makes sense!
Leesa and Jessica have been so much fun to train with. They are amazing friends! We have had LOT'S of bonding time :) Matt got a kick out of listening to us when he would join us for our long runs. "Wow, I have learned soo much about women!"
This may not have been the best planned marathon but we still had a great time doing it! We will have lot's of great memories and I learned a very important lesson... DON'T take too much medicine!
Will we do another marathon? YOU BET! not for a while though, give us a month or two! As long as Matt's by my side :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bad Fat???

Jacqueline was going running last night. Emily took her to the side and this was their conversation:

Em: "Jac, can I go with you? I really need to go because I need to get rid of my bad fat"

Jac: "Em, you don't have any bad fat on your body and I don't either. Me, Mom and Dad like to exercise to be healthy not to get rid of fat.

Em: "OH.... Well, can I come anyway?"

I was so sad when Jacqueline told me this! I have always tried to be so careful with how I talk about our bodies and why we exercise and eat healthy. It is sad that my little 7 year old who has too little fat on her body, is worried about her "bad fat!"

Last week Matt was talking a lot about good fats and bad fats because he had his cholesterol checked. He is a little high in the bad fats so we were discussing what changes he can make in his diet. (This is actually quite the challenge since he is already such a great eater!) Could this be where Emily got this idea? OR was she just trying to think of an excuse to go running with her big Sis???

Emily rode her scooter to the end of the street and then ran with her about 3 blocks! This was enough "getting rid of bad fat" for her :)

Can I just tell you how grateful I am to have a daughter who wants to be healthy for the RIGHT reasons! She is the perfect example that Emily needs right now. She looks up to her in everything she does. If Jac is exercising and eating good foods to be healthy than that's what she wants to do too!

I am taking this as a reminder to show our kids that we LOVE who we are! We are all different shapes and sizes and we are NOT our bodies. We ARE the amazing person that is inside...let's share this person and embrace this person. Let's not get fooled by the rest of the world who would like us to think that all that matters is the number on the bathroom scale.

We may not be able to control what messages our kids are getting outside of our homes but we definitely can inside! Let's show them what REALLY matters :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Clinic Day

Emily wasn't happy when I checked her out of school today because she was going to miss all the fun stuff like pizza day and recess! This is actually very nice to hear since school isn't her favorite thing :)

Emily is still doing really well. They took TONS of blood today for a bunch of tests to see how her body is handling Jacqueline's bone marrow. They even took blood from me for one of her tests. I had to be very brave! I was wishing Matt would have been there...Emily would have loved to see him cry!

Just for the record, Emily's WBC is 2900, her ANC is 1700 and she weighed in at 18.3; a little lower from 18.7 but not a big deal. These counts have stayed in this range pretty much all summer. They don't act concerned so even though they are lower then normal they must be in the OK range.

It has been 3 months since her last dose of steroids so they are taking her off the rest of her medicine! She has been on 3 different antibiotics to keep her from catching things. To tell you the truth, this makes me a little nervous since she has been getting more ear infections since the doctors took her off her other medications. Taking her off everything will be a HUGE test. Especially since she is being exposed to so many germs at school. It will be very interesting to see what happens. Cross your fingers everyone!!