Monday, June 28, 2010

Celebrating Grandmas Birthday

The Whitings and Buhrleys were in town for the day so we took advantage of this rare occasion! We went to a session in the Salt Lake Temple which was wonderful.
We celebrated Mom's birthday at the Garden Restaurant. We had to get her a dessert even though she didn't take a single about will power!
Happy 65 Mom!
The grandkids know just how to pamper their Grandma on her special day!
Gracie and Emily even made her breakfast... a plate of spinach with 1/2 a gallon of ranch dressing on top mmmm... :)

Stewart Falls

Grandma LOVES to be with her family, so hiking to Stewart Falls on her birthday was the perfect fit!
It was a beautiful day for a hike, especially with family!
Everyone survived, even Justin, Grace and Emily; once they got their "energy" mints to keep going, there was no stopping them! (Thank goodness for white lifesavers)
Happy Birthday Mom/Grandma, we are so blessed to have you in our lives!!!


This crew decided to stay up till 3:00 in the morning watching "The Scarlet Pimpernell" I'm not sure what was more fun, the show or all of Mac's rhyming afterwards!
Were they tired? Well, the did sleep till 11:00 the next morning!... thank goodness the little ones were at Grandmas!
Waiting to leave is NEVER boring around here. There is always a game to be played :)

Miracles DO happen!

Emily had her long term follow up appointment at the bone marrow clinic. I have to admit I felt myself getting pretty stressed as the day got closer. Matt came along for support which helped out a lot!
The news is... Emily has 80% of her immune system!! This is truly a MIRACLE! For the 1st time in her life she is making her own B-cells and her immune system is WORKING!
All the nurses and doctors were so excited to see Emily. They were very impressed with how sweet she is and how grown up she has gotten!
The one concern they have now, is her low weight and height. If she continues at the same rate, she will be about 4'11" on a good day. All ADA SCID kids are small AND she has aunts and cousins that are small too, so we aren't too worried.
How can you be sad when you can be almost as tall as your cousin Joslyn?!

Does Emily still have SCIDS? Yes, she always will. Dr. Pulsipher explained that SCIDS affects her neurologically and physically as well. She has conquered the immune system part; but she will still live with the other challenges that SCIDS brings throughout her life.
I have been so impressed with her determination to work through these challenges. It is a great learning experience for us all and a great lesson on the importance of celebrating our personal successes and not comparing with anyone else... even other siblings!
Emily is living proof that MIRACLES DO HAPPEN! We can testify of this truth. We just have to be patient and know it is in the Lords time... in this case, almost 8 years. It was worth the wait!
THANK YOU for all your love, faith, service and endless prayers. We love you all!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A new perspective

The Tarae Family
This is the Tarae family from Sierra Leone, Africa.
Matt was lucky enough to meet this sweet family last summer in Africa. Brother Tarae was Matt's personal driver through all the crazy roads (if that's what you can call them) They had some good laughs remembering their adventures!
This is Prince. He is 3 1/2 years old. The Taraes pay $4000.00 a year for him to go to an American school. There are only 3 Sierra Leone students. They work so hard for Prince to get the best education possible!
He is SO darling. We fell in love with him the minute he walked in the door telling us to "Hang Loose"!
This is Princess. She is 10 months old and the cutest thing you have ever seen! She kept staring at us and kept touching my hair :)
We took a walk to the park and they LOVED it!
Sister Tarae ad NEVER been on a swing before! She was so nervous telling Jacqueline not to push her too high! :)
We had an amazing evening. They have been very overwhelmed by vast differences between our countries. Here are just a few:
How much FOOD we eat! They can't believe how much Americans eat. They kept talking about how often and how much everyone eats! They look at their plate of food and say, "This is like 3 meals worth in our country!"
At home they usually eat 1 meal a day with little snacks in between.
Sister Tarae asked me how I keep my 'figure'. (funny I know!)I l told them "Well, I run." Brother Tarae started to laugh and said, "We exercise to GET our food, Americans exercise to work their food OFF!" SO TRUE!!
The Tarae's were amazed at the beautiful yards, garages with electric doors, running water, dishwashers, clothes washers, lights.... and so much more!
They have their own water tank they pay to be filled with clean water.
They run a generator for 3 hours a night to try and cool the house down for them to sleep.
They wash their clothes by hand. (They taught the pioneers at This is the Place park a few tips! on how to really clean clothes by hand!)
They don't have refrigerators
They think Utah is COLD :) (I agree!)
Matt asked the Taraes if it will be hard to return home when they have seen and experienced all of the things in America. They told him they are happy to go back because the Lord has work for them to do. What AMAZING people they are!
Our family was so blessed to spend a few hours with this sweet, sweet family. They are so good, so faithful, so dedicated, and such great examples of making the most out of life!

Matt was able to take this family on a tour of the Conference Center and the underground parking lot. They ran into 3 General Authorities! Matt said it was so fun to see them get pictures with each one and speak with them. To be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and get to meet 3 General Authorities and visit places they have only seen in pictures was a dream come true!
It was wonderful to meet the Taraes and experience a little bit of what Matt gets to enjoy when he visits Africa. He is SO LUCKY!! (I can't wait to go with him someday!)
It's experiences like this one with the Tarae family, that give us a new and greater perspective on what life is really about!

Our annual hike to the "Y"

The Buhrley's and Grandma Whiting joined us for our 'Y' hike this year!
Justin, Gracie and Emily thought they were going to "die" from exhaustion, but they made it!
Counting the trail posts helped them forget their pain :)
Here's the crew! (minus one very handsome man!)
Everyone is growing up waay too fast!
We did it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


It was a very long, quiet week at home without these two...
Emily was VERY happy to see us. Here are a few pictures of her leaders and girls in her cabin. For some reason they had written her age as 5 so she was with mostly 6 year olds. She wasn't happy about them saying she was 5 but she still enjoyed the girls in her cabin.
Emily loved the Arts and Crafts cabin, and making her very own tye dye shirt. She said the food was "OK" and she loved seeing Nancy, her nurse from Primary Children's.
"I didn't get to be with Thomas very much Mom. I really wanted to be with him."
Even though she didn't think she got to see him enough, all the counselors told me every time she saw him she would run up and give her big brother a hug! They were all very impressed with how kind Thomas was to his little sister, sitting by her at lunch on the "Sibling' day and always being excited to see her and give her a hug.
It was harder than she expected to be away from home. She struggled a little bit and isn't sure she wants to go back next year. I told her no worries, it's a whole year away :) to tell you the truth, I wouldn't mind it if she didn't go... I missed her too much!
Emily's counselors kept telling me how sweet she was and how much they enjoyed having her with them. She had fun with all the staff and had each of them sign their name in her memory book.
Thomas was everyones favorite guy! I couldn't walk more than 2 feet without someone telling me how AMAZING my son is! They were so impressed with his positive attitude and willingness to help whenever he could. They want him to come back as a counselor when he gets old enough. He really would be great at it.
I am SO glad they are home! :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I miss them allready!

This is Thomas' 5th year going to Camp Hobe' and Emily's 1st year to stay all week!
Why is it so hard for me to let them go? I had to be very BRAVE!
When I told Matt I was nervous, he replied, "You just love to be nervous, there is no need to be with all the doctors and nurses around; you just want to be!"
For some reason I didn't appreciate his "empathy". He quickly realized I just needed a listening ear. :)
Truthfully, I know they will be just fine and have a wonderful time. Emily has her big brother and that gives me so much peace! Thomas was so sweet as we took Emily to her cabin.
Emily was very excited to pick the bed with YELLOW crepe paper. It's her newest favorite color!
All the feelings of nervousness flew out the door as soon as she arrived! She happily gave me a hug goodbye and quickly forgot about me as she arranged all of her things.
Thomas is excited to have one of the same leaders with him from last year. He was so sweet as he gave me a big hug in front of all the boys. I LOVE how he doesn't get embarrassed to show his mom he loves me!
My heart ached as soon as I said "goodbye". (am I sappy or what?) I have to admit, I had to fight back the tears as I drove down the canyon. Our home is so quiet without them; life just isn't the same without Thomas and Emily around.
Poor Jacqueline will have to put up with Mom and Dad all week by herself. Good thing she makes life so fun! I guess this week won't be so bad after all!
Is it Friday yet?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Emily's Beauty shop

Matt got home from a week at Scout camp. Just in time for a much needed makeover from Emily! She even used real scissors ("oops, sorry Dad")!
He looks amazing don't you think?
Take a look at Em's cute pigtails. Yes, she did it all by herself! Summer is a PERFECT time for learning how to do your own hair. Pretty soon I won't get to do anyone's hair anymore. I am NOT very happy about it! I guess I'll have to start stealing some neighbor kids :)

My CrAzY golfers

Things get a little CrAzY when Thomas and Emily play miniature golf...
Thomas was quite the... well... let's just say he had a great time :)
Emily enjoyed getting "lucky" shots and hitting the ball like her Daddy :)
How can you not smile when you have kids like these two?!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Anyone want some CANDY?

Thomas' 5th grade teacher LOVED to motivate the kids with CANDY. Thomas has always loved sugar; it seemed like a great way to motivate in his opinion. For me, not so much!
By the time October came, I was sick of seeing so many wrappers in Thomas' pant pockets. Something needed to change...
"If you keep every piece of candy Mrs. Mangum gives you till the end of the year, I will give you $20.00."
The challenge was ON!
500 pieces later (and at least another 100 that went through the wash) Thomas earned his $20.00. WAHOO!
Not only did he keep all the candy she gave him but starting in January, he stayed completely away from sugar for about 4 months! The rest of us lasted about 6 weeks with a treat here and there, but not Thomas, he wouldn't touch the stuff.
One night I came home to see him eating apple pie with Matt. I asked him if he was done with his no sugar challenge.
"There is sugar in this? Why didn't you tell me?!"
"Sorry, I didn't think about it." Matt replied.
After thinking things over, Thomas decided 4 months was enough from no sugar. He decided it was OK to have it sometimes.
Thomas filled up 6 mason jars and tried to convince me I should give him $20.00 for EACH jar. (maybe Grandma will fall for that one!) I guess you can't blame him for trying :) in the end, Thomas was very happy to get $20.00. (and I was very happy to give it to him!)
When Thomas decides to do something there's NO stopping him. He is truly amazing!