Monday, January 25, 2010

St. George 1/2 marathon

What can keep you motivated to keep running long miles in 15 degree weather? A 1/2 marathon of course!
Even though we didn't train as much as we were planning on; Matt, me and about 9 other couples, decided to take on the challenge.
Leesa Jones invited us to stay at her Dad's house along with her brothers and their friends who were coming in for the race. After we got our race packets with our "cool" tech shirts and race numbers; we headed for Brick Oven for our pre-race "carb load" dinner.
Matt got back from Africa the day before so he turned in early (he was tired for some reason?) HE MISSED OUT!
The group of us had a great time getting to know each other by playing some games and learning how to sip hot cocoa from a "cookie straw". Things get a little crazy when the kids aren't around :) It must have been all that balsamic vinegar we put on our pizza!
Ready to GO!!! Why do we do this to ourselves?
I am happy to report that EVERYONE finished! Matt did AMAZING even though he sprained his ankle in December and went to Africa for 10 days right before the race, he STILL came in 1 minute ahead of me! That's my husband! ;)
After all the FUN of running, we enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub, eating Cafe' Rio and committing to making this an annual couples retreat!
It will be fun to see if we can beat our times from this year. Can Leesa keep her edge on Kim? Can Matt and Nate beat me during the last mile again?...Hmmm, we shall see, we shall see :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How long do YOU wash your hands?

How long do YOU wash your hands?
Thomas decided to find out by making this question his Science Fair project.

Matt and Thomas went to the University Mall for some Father/son bonding; and hung out in the boys bathroom (on 3 different days) so they could count how many people did or did not wash their hands. They also timed how long the people washed their hands.

After 20 people had come and gone, Thomas put up a sign asking the people to wash their hands for 20 seconds. Matt and Thomas counted 20 more people to see if the sign would make a difference.

Thomas learned that having a sign on the wall helped motivate the people who were already going to wash their hands; wash for a little bit longer. As for the others, it made no difference. They didn't even look at it as they walked out the door!

Thomas had a great time hiding in the stall and having people look through the cracks at him wondering what in the world he was doing!

Matt stood in the corner acting like he was waiting for Thomas to come out. This plan worked out great until the same maintenance guy came in to clean 3 times! On the last day, Matt saw him walk in and he rushed out the door as fast as he could! I am sure he was wondering what Matt was doing! It gave us something to laugh about :)
After hours, and Hours, and HOURS, of HARD work, (by Mom, Dad, and Jac too) Thomas' project was a success! He received the highest honor which is the Einstein Award. PLUS, he found out today that his project is moving on to the District level. He is VERY EXCITED! We are very happy for him and we are VERY happy to have the project COMPLETE!!!
I must say, I have been so impressed with Thomas' passion for this project. He has such a determination and drive to do his best! Most kids would have done the bare minimum, not Thomas; he wanted to do his very best, and it showed!

Congratulations Thomas on a Project well done!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Emily's baptism pictures

My sweet friend Cyndy Garrison, took these amazing pictures and you would never guess we only had 10 minutes to do them! She is extremely talented as you can tell!!

Emily doesn't like this one because she says, "It looks like I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am not looking the right way." I promised her we wouldn't blow this one up :)

I think this one is my favorite

Another one of my great friends April West, designed Emily's baptism invitation for me. I seriously have the best friends ever!!! Thankfully, they are willing to share their talents!

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's GREAT to be 8!

Emily went to bed at 7:45 the night before her birthday so it would come as fast as possible! She's never gone to bed so easily.
I had no problems waking her up; and I don't think she stopped smiling all day!
Matt is in Africa so he wasn't home for her birthday... again! (Last year he was in the Philippines) Emily has had a great attitude about it even though she was really bummed not to have her Daddy home. She told me she would just make the best of it!

The one good thing about Dad not being home is that she didn't have to wait for him to get home from work to open her presents. Talk about lucky! She definitely knows how to make the best out of everything :)
Grandma and Grandpa came over to help celebrate with Emily's favorite dinner, Chicken Alfredo, (which she didn't even eat) Chocolate cake and mint ice cream! I realized we didn't have any candles which was DEVASTATING! note to self: Emily LOVES having candles on her cake!We were very grateful for our neighbors who just happened to have 8 candles to spare ;)

Once again, I am still trying to get used to the idea that my youngest little turkey is 8 years old! I never get older, why does she have to???

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Emily is *8*!

It is hard to believe that 8 years ago today, Emily came into our lives. We had no idea what a crazy journey she would take us on! Our experiences with her has helped us grow closer to our Savior, our family, and friends in more ways then we could have ever imagined! We are so grateful for every single moment :)

Here are 8 reasons why we LOVE Emily! How can we stop at 8?!
  1. You were blessed to come to this earth with stubbornness and determination to fight through your challenges and WIN! These gifts have given you strength to do HARD things and endure your physical trials. You don't know what it means to give up!
2. You bring joy to everyone's day with your sweet smile and love for all those around you!
3. You love, love, love, to LEARN! You love to learn about your ancestors, famous people from the past, birds, dogs, why things work... You get the point!
"Let's look it up!" is a common thing to hear you say :)
4. You love to create things with paper, tape, glue, paper bags, fabric, etc. etc. We tell ourselves you are a designer in training! It helps me survive the chaos :)
5. You KNOW who you are! You have a testimony that you are a Child of God. You are always doing your best to choose the right and help us do it too!
6. You are a wonderful sister to Jac and Thomas! You love spending time with them laughing and being CRAZY!
7. You love animals and are always very kind and loving to them. Especially dogs of course!
8. You enjoy every moment of your life! You take time to "smell the flowers" and find excitement in everything you do!

Happy 8th birthday our sweet Emily! We love you and feel so blessed to have you in our family!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Clinic Update on Emily

It has been 2 months since we have looked at Emily's counts. It has been nice to let go of the worry and stress and just let her be... Emily! We went to the Immunologist yesterday and she is doing FANTASTIC!

Emily's WBC is 7800 and her ANC is 5600. Yes, these are good numbers :) She hasn't been on Gamma Globulin since June and her levels are in the normal range!

Emily weighed in at 18 kilograms which is about 39 lbs. She is now in the 1% in weight and the 2% in height. She has finally gotten out of the 0%! She is up about a pound from 2 months ago; which isn't a ton but it is going in the right direction ;) I am so happy she is eating!

We are going to see a G.I. doctor to see what might be causing all of her stomach pains; but other than this, she is doing FABULOUS! she is so tough! She told me the other day, "Mom, I don't want to tell my teacher and my friends that my tummy hurts because it is embarrassing. They can't do anything anyway so I figure I should just stay at school since it will hurt either way and I want to play after school so it will help me forget my pain."
She is very motivated by playing isn't she ;)

This has been a long 8 years of worrying, worrying and worrying! I must say it feels wonderful to finally go to the doctor and leave with positive results!

Things are finally looking UP for our sweet little miracle!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Jac

Here are 14 fun pictures and 14 (we could go on all day!) reasons why we LOVE you!
1. You are beautiful INSIDE and OUT!
2. You take on challenges with EXCITEMENT and DETERMINATION!
3. You have an amazing positive attitude about life
4. You are dedicated to the gospel, and STUDY your scriptures EVERY night!
5. You are a peacemaker
6. You are FUN and LOVE life!
7. You are a shining example of living a Christlike life
8. You strive to bring out the best in everyone around you
9. You are a TRUE friend
10. You always put family FIRST and love to be with us
11. You CARE about and work on being best friends with Thomas and Emily
12. You are kind hearted, loving and patient especially with your mom
13. You are quick to admit when you are wrong and ask for forgiveness
14. You help others get through HARD times in life with a smile on their face and gladness in their hearts!

Jacqueline, we love you and couldn't ask or even dream of having a better, or more amazing oldest daughter than you!!!


Now that Jac is 14 years old, she told her Grandpas they should get her a cane so they can grow old together ;)
Emily made Jac this very special crown which she of course, LOVED.
Even though her birthday happened to fall on Fast Sunday (so cruel!), and her FAVORITE foods are breakfast foods; she got to spread out her birthday fun by having her special breakfast on Saturday.
Sunday, after we broke our fast, we celebrated with one of her favorite meals, Aunt Ambers white bean chili. She topped off the meal with another favorite, apple crisp and frozen yogurt.
Grandma and Grandpa Whiting came, which always makes parties even better!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snowshoeing for New Years!

What a wonderful way to spend the first day of 2010 after sleeping in of course!
Thomas makes a great reindeer, don't you think?
Emily kept telling Jacqueline, "I am coming to get you with a snowball..."
Jacqueline was SO surprised :)
Daddy's little girl
Emily's special snowman named, Emily!
All of us enjoyed being outside. Even Emily, even though she won't admit it!
It's been a great Christmas break. We aren't looking forward to school next week :(
Our Christmas break highlights
  • Sleeping in Thomas' room every single night!
  • Color me mine
  • Snowshoeing
  • "Kung Fu Panda" and "Up"
  • Sleeping in
  • Yummy Greek yogurt
  • Thomas' Science project
  • Making clay sculptures
  • Spending time together!
Enjoy the kids little song honoring their very special snowman:)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Memories of 2009

Here are just a few of our families highlights from 2009:
Hospital days with Emily
Matt in the Philippines
Thomas gets the Swine flu. 11 days of isolation!
Heaps Family Reunion and the famous, HUMAN SLING SHOT
Jac's many swim meets and making state in her 100 and 200 breast stroke!
Whiting Family Idol... "Hakuna Matada"
St. George with our great neighbors, the Jones and the Struthers
Emily's clean bill of health! Just in time to go BACK TO SCHOOL!
Matt's trip to Africa

Jac's first 1/2 marathon
Matt's 1st marathon and we did it TOGETHER!
Thanksgiving with the Buhrley's
Cousin time!!
Thomas' choir performances
Grandma Pink is finally HOME!

Matt's top 3 highlights:
Marathon with Jill
Counselor in the Bishopric
Trips to the Philippines and Africa

Jill's top 3 highlights:
Running 1/2 marathon with Jac and full marathon with Matt
Going to the temple each week
Our Home makeover

Jac's highlights:
1/2 marathon
taking 1st place in mile and 2nd in 800 in track
qualifying for state in the 100 and 200 breaststroke
biking to swim team in the summer

Thomas' highlights:
Percy Jackson Olympian series (read about 20 times!)
Exploring the pit with his friends
Sword fighting in the pit
Arsenal soccer team
Biking to swim team with Jac
Swine flu is NOT a highlight :)

Emily's highlights:
No more yucky hairy medicine
Doing arts and crafts
making her scrapbook
Going to the Buhrley's
Making snowflakes
Color me mine

Goodbye 2009. Thanks for all the fun times, hard times, lessons learned and knowledge gained! We have been very blessed!!!