Sunday, March 19, 2017

Singing At State

Earlier this year Makenna auditioned to sing the National Anthem at some of the state sporting events.  She was chosen to sing it at the Boys State A Championship games on Thursday, March 16th.  She got to sing it twice that day.  She was so excited to be chosen to do it!  I was excited for her! 

We took the day off work, along with my friend Melissa and we spent the day in Sioux Falls.  We shopped, she sang, we ate, we shopped some more, she sang again, we shopped some more and then we headed home.  It was such a fun day!  Melissa loved doing things to make Makenna blush and as Makenna found out, Melissa was very good at it!

By the end of the day, Makenna was exhausted.  She is going to have to build up her shopping endurance before we do it again!  I'll admit I was pretty worn out too. We did find some good deals though ☺

I am so proud of Makenna and all that she has become.  She loves to sing and I am happy that she has had so many opportunities to share her talent.  She has participated in All State Chorus, Festival of Women's Voices, solo and small group contest and singing the National Anthem many times.  I hope she continues to have these opportunities to share and grow. 

Here are a few pictures:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

It's Been A Long Time

I just realized that I have not blogged since Thanksgiving!  There have been several times that I have started but never finished.  Life has taken some crazy, painful turns and even though writing is my outlet, I have not been able to write.  Today I will catch up on the normal everyday things that have been going on with us.

To start, Michael had his birthday on the 24th of November.  It was Thanksgiving Day so we celebrated with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and fried pies!  Thanksgiving night we were able to go to Sioux Falls and visit friends for the evening and share our fried pies with them.  Good friends are sometimes hard to find and we have been blessed by Troy and his family.

After Thanksgiving we went full steam into basketball season!  All six kids started the season.  Only five ended the season.  Makenna had to have knee surgery on the 14th of December. 

She did get a few games in before and the coaches let her keep hanging out with the team afterwards.  She is hoping to have her knee ready to go for cross country this fall.

Everyone had a fun season of basketball.  I coached Olivia's team again this year and we ended the season with our first win!  Way to go girls!!
Zeke's team had their last tournament next week.  His team took first in a tournament a few weeks ago.  They were really excited!  A year or two ago they were lucky to win a game, now they are winning tournaments!

Dillon is still going for another few weeks.  They love to play ball - any type of ball!  Yesterday they played in an 8th grade tournament as 7th graders.  Last year they took last in that tournament.  This year they took 2nd.  It is fun to watch them!

Zane finished his season yesterday.  They also played in a tournament yesterday and won two out of their three games.  His team has really improved over the years. 

Makenna only had a couple of games but it was fun to see her and Maddi out there on the court at the same time.  She'll be back next year ready to go!

Maddi played the whole season and had a very successful one.  I loved watching her play and cheering her on.
 In the middle of basketball season came Christmas.  Christmas was quiet and it was nice to have time at home.  Christmas Day we had the missionaries over for dinner.  There was an ice storm that day and we ended up losing power before we could finish cooking supper.  We ate by candlelight and had ham that Michael had smoked, biscuits and raw carrots.  I felt bad for the missionaries but there wasn't much I could do about it!


Right after Christmas, we celebrated Zeke's 11th birthday!  I sure love this crazy boy with his rockin' mullet!  He keeps me smiling!

January and February were filled with basketball, singing, church and everything else in between!  Makenna was able to sing the National Anthem at some of our home games and also sang it at the Boys District Finals and the Girls Region games in Madison.  She will sing it next week in Sioux Falls at the Boys State A Basketball games.  She was also in All State Chorus and Festival of Women's Voices. 

Olivia auditioned for the elementary festival of young voices and I got to go listen to her perform earlier this week.  It was her first experience with something like this and she had a fun time.

In January, I lost one of my most favorite people in the whole world.  Grandma- Great left this earth on her 89th birthday.  For the first time in 15 years she got to spend it with Grandpa Chris.  It was the best birthday present she could have received.  She was such an amazing person.  I loved her more than I can say.  I have missed her so much this last month.  What I would give to hear her voice and be able to talk to her just one more time.  We were able to fly out to Idaho for her funeral.  The kids all got to fly for the first time (at least that they can remember.  All of them by Zane had flown when they were babies).  It was good to see family and to be there to celebrate Grandma. 

Tomorrow track season officially starts.  Zane and Dillon will be my only ones running this year so the season won't be as busy for us.  The elementary school starts their C25K program tomorrow so I will be working with the 4th-6th graders to get them ready for their 5k in May.  We know it's track season because we are getting a snow storm today.  Track season always seems to bring the crazy spring weather with it!
I know I missed things and hopefully I will do better at keeping up with writing now.  


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thanksgiving Thoughts

This year has been a tough one.  In fact, the last four months have been so overwhelming and emotional that at times I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  I have never felt so much pain, anger, sadness, hurt and sorrow.  It seemed like every time I turned around there was something else thrown at me when I already felt like I was struggling to keep my head above water.  I would go to bed at night hoping that when morning came, I would wake from this horrible nightmare and everything would be ok.  I would wake up in the morning too exhausted to feel my emotions and wish I could just go back to bed instead of facing the day.  I have cried more in these last few months than I have in my entire life combined.  I have lost more sleep then I did with my newborns.  Even tonight, I should have been in bed hours ago, but anxiousness overtook my ability to sleep.  My mind has been swirling and racing with the events that have been placed before me.  I have faced the hardest thing in my life and been crushed by the effects of it.

However, through it all, the Lord has blessed me.  Tonight as sleep was evading me, my mind wandered to the story in Matthew chapter 14 where Peter tries to walk on the water.  Jesus had just finished feeding the 5000 and had gone up into the mountain to pray.  He had sent His disciples ahead in a ship.  It was late evening and the winds began to increase and toss the ship in the waves.  When Jesus came down from the mountain, He walked to the disciples on the water.  At first, when the disciples saw Him, they were afraid, but Jesus spoke to them and calmed their fears.  Peter asked the Lord if He would ask him to come to Him on the water.  Jesus told Peter to come and he began to walk on the water towards Christ.  As Peter walked, he saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and started sinking.  He cried out for Jesus to save him.  Jesus immediately took Peter's hand and pulled him up out of the water and brought him safely to the ship.  As soon as Jesus got in the ship, the wind stopped and it became calm.

Peter was doing it!  He had faith to step out on the stormy sea and walk to the Savior.  However, he lost his focus.  He stopped looking towards Christ and began worrying about the winds and the waves.  Once he lost his focus, his faith wavered and he began to doubt.  That doubt caused him to start sinking.  Christ was there though.  Despite his lacking faith, as soon as Peter called out, Christ was there with His hand outstretched to lift Peter up back to Him and safety.

We all have battles in our lives, waters to cross with wind swirling and waves crashing around us.  We will have storms to pass through.  Maybe we start out with that same faith of Peter.  Maybe the storm hits with such force that our faith is shaken right away and we immediately feel as if we are sinking.  Maybe we bring on the winds ourselves or maybe it is the winds of others that cause our waves.  Sometimes those waves are so high that we feel buried in the depths of the sea.  The thing is, if we call out to the Lord, no matter the cause of the storm or the intensity of it's power, He will be there with His hand outstretched.  His light will shine through the darkness and His strength will pull us through.  He will not leave us.  As we cry out to Him, he will be there to lift us back up, give us strength to withstand the storm and lead us back to Him. 

Sometimes, a lot of times, we feel His love and strength through the kindness and love of those around us.  Those here, doing His work and being His disciples.  During this last year, and more especially these last four months, I have been so blessed with friends and family who have reached out and lifted me from the depths of the sea.  Their prayers, kind words, listening ears, wise counsel, hugs, smiles and patience have allowed me to endure the days and feel God's love for me when I was struggling to feel it on my own.  Covering for me at work when I had to be gone, switching schedules so I could be gone, leaving diet Cokes on my desk ☺, eating lunch with me and talking about nothing so I didn't have to think about things, sitting with me and listening when I DID need to talk, sending emails to let me know I was being thought about and prayed for, doing extra chores at home, flowers, undisturbed bubble baths, listening to me on the phone as I tried to convey my emotions, holding me while I sobbed, loving me despite my current craziness - those were all things that allowed me to feel the outstretched hand of my Savior lifting me up.  Simple things, meaningful things, gifts of love, gifts of yourselves, gifts of your time. 

Things are still hard.  My heart is still filled with pain, anger, hurt, and all those other things I mentioned.  I still go to bed wishing to wake with life back to how it was.  I still wake up wishing to go back to bed and sleep it away.  However, with all those emotions, I now have hope and love too.  For that I am grateful.  This Thanksgiving was harder than any other I have had.  My heart was heavy and my body exhausted, but my heart was also thankful for the amazing people that God has put in my life right now.  Despite the life events I am dealing with, I am very blessed.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Sweet 16

Our Maddi Jo Bug is 16.  My how time flies!  I remember when we first found out we were having a girl, when we finally decided on a name for her and when we finally met her for the first time.  We were so excited to begin our family!  We were blessed with such a beautiful little girl with the chubbiest cheeks and the sweetest smile.  Now, here we are 16 years later.  No more chubby cheeks, no more drool down to her belly button, but still a beautiful blessing to our family. 
She celebrated by going to school, basketball practice and then a sports meeting.  We did have her favorite chocolate pie before bed and then made her birthday supper the next night when she would be home to enjoy it - baked potatoes of course ☺
Happy Birthday, Bug! We love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

15 on the 15th

Makenna celebrated her 15th birthday on 15th!  We made her chicken taquitos for supper followed by a chocolate cake and ice cream.  We are so thankful to have her in our family.  She is full of spunk and life with a stubborn streak a mile long.  While it can make parenting interesting at times, it serves her well when she is out trying to conquer the world and make her place in it.  She loves to bake, read, draw, color, sing, run and play basketball.  We are so proud of her, who she is becoming and all that she has accomplished.  Happy Birthday, Makenna!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I Wouldn't Have to Ask You to Turn the Music Up!

I love this kid!  He is always moving, jumping, running, and standing on his head!  He is helpful and kind.  He is considerate of others and notices when some one needs a friend.  He loves to read and do the worm.  He's good at both ☺  He also rocks a mullet!
As you know, a couple years ago, he was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette's Syndrome.  He has handled it pretty well and the school has given him tools to help him in the classroom.  He has a wiggle cushion on his chair and a band across the front legs of his desk so he can have movement while he is at his desk.  His desk is on an outside row so that if he needs to stand up, he can without disturbing others or drawing attention to himself.  They even have a stand up desk at the back of the room if he ever needs to use that.  Most of his tics have been mild and he has learned to release the vocal ones outside or at home which also helps him in the classroom.

Earlier this fall, maybe a month ago, we had health screenings at the school.  He failed the hearing test and so the nurses suggested we get his ears checked.  Our speech therapist retested him a day or so later and he failed again so we took him in.  The doctor couldn't see anything that would be causing hearing trouble so he referred us on to a specialist.

Yesterday I took him to Sioux Falls to have an audio test and meet with an ENT.  They removed some wax from his ears that they believed may have caused the failed tests previously and then they gave him an audio test.  Afterwards the audiologist came in and explained that he did have some hearing loss.  It was mild to slight but it was in the midtone range where most talking levels take place.  She talked to him about getting hearing aids but told us the doctor would talk more about it with us.

While we were waiting to see the doctor, I asked Zeke how he was feeling about it all.  He said he did not want to get hearing aids.  Who would right?  I asked him why.  He said it would make him look like a nerd.  He was embarrassed at the thought and didn't want any of the kids at school to know about it right now.  We talked about how small hearing aids were and that maybe he wouldn't end up needing any after all.

When we talked with the doctor, he showed us more about the results of the test and talked to us about the next steps.  He said hearing aids would definitely help him but he wanted to wait a bit and retest him before we jumped into that.  When he is retested, if it is the same or worse, he will want a CT scan to check on the little bones around the ears to see if there are any that are not formed right.  We would also discuss hearing aids at that point.

As we were leaving the appointment he said, "Well, if I do have to get hearing aids, I wouldn't have to ask you to turn the music up when I can't hear it, I could just turn up my hearing aid!"  I love him so much!  He still doesn't want to get hearing aids but if he ends up with them, I know he will rock them just like he does his mullet!

State 2016

These four girls made school history at State.  They are the first girls cross country team at Deubrook to ever place at State.  After a season of injuries, frustrations and lots of ice, they ended up taking 6th place!  How awesome is that?
Their coaches did an amazing job of encouraging and helping them through the season.  They made sure these girls had what they needed to be successful and they were there cheering them on at every race.  Even on the bad days, they were there building them up and telling them they would get it next time.

It was a beautiful day for a race.  Before every race our girls always huddle for a prayer.  They do it in basketball, volleyball and track too.  I love seeing the girls bow their heads and seek for help from a Higher Source.  At State, before our girls ran, all the girls circled up in a prayer circle.  It was so neat to see!  Class B girls were the only ones who did it.  What a way to start the race!
Our girls all ran hard.  Each course is so different and you can't compare times from course to course.  Makenna was sad because she didn't run her best time of the season, but she did what she needed to do.  Josie took 2nd.  Andrea took 9th.  Makenna was our 3rd runner.  Her placement would determine if we placed or not.  Even though she was disappointed with her time, she didn't let the team down.  They all were able to walk away with their heads high, their hips and knees iced, with a smile on their face!
Can't wait to see what they do next year!

Friday, October 14, 2016

XC - State Bound!

In the midst of dealing with my eyes, getting ready for book fair at school, getting Zeke's hearing checked (he failed several hearing tests and is now scheduled for a more in depth audio test) and getting to Dillon's last football game, I did not ever post about our amazing cross country meets!

Last Wednesday, the 5th, was our Cross Country DVC meet.  These four amazing girls below all placed in the top 20 and ended up DVC champs!  Wow!  Aren't the awesome?!

This Wednesday, the 12th, was our cross country region meet.  Top 20 runners and top 3 teams go to state.  Last year Makenna placed 13th at regions with a time of 22:45, her best time of the season.  It was her first year to run cross country.  This year Makenna placed 18th with a time of 22:14, her best time of the season!  Her teammates placed 1st, 5th and 28th.  Top 3 runners count for points and we ended up Region Runner-Ups and our team - those same four amazing girls - will get to run at state next weekend!  They were so excited and I am so excited for them!  They have worked through injuries - foot pains, never ending ear aches, knee issues, hip flexor injuries - and they never gave up.  Their strength and determination carried them through and helped them reach their goal of going as a team.  Their coaches have also been amazing.  They have helped and encouraged them - cheering them on during their races and strengthening them between races.  I can't wait to watch them run next weekend!

After the race.  All smiles ☺
Waiting for the awards ceremony.  Still smiling ☺
After the ceremony with their plaque.  Still smiling ☺

Parker also made it to state with several other Deubrook boys not far behind.  The boys team has a bright future too!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cross my Heart, Hope to Die, Stick a Needle in my Eye

That little chant has new meaning for me now and I will never say it again!  Last year, around this time, I started having eye aches for a few days and then I had blurry spots that would sometimes be in my vision.  Over several weeks the blurry spots got worse and so I finally went in to see my eye doctor.  I had pretty bad uveitis in both my eyes.  It was in the front of my eyes and the back.  There was a lot of inflammation in the front causing my eye to stick to my cornea.  I had to have my eyes dilated for 4 or 5 weeks and ended up having injections in both eyes.  I was terrified of the injections but my eyes were numbed and so I really couldn't feel any pain.  The hardest part was holding my eyes still and not looking at the needle as he injected it into the lower corner of my eye.

A couple of weeks ago I started have eye aches again.  They were a little different and instead of just lasting for a couple of days, they lasted for a couple of weeks (actually, they still ache - it hasn't stopped).  Then I noticed a blurry spot in my vision.  It was a little different than last time.  It didn't float around, it just stayed in the same spot all day.  I kept cleaning my glasses thinking they were smudged but it didn't help!

I decided to call the optometrist again to get them checked.  I didn't want things to get as bad as they were last time.  I hated being dilated for so long and I really didn't want to do injections again.  I went in Tuesday.  I had uveitis again.  The good news was that it was only in my left eye and it wasn't near as bad as it was last time.  The bad news was that there was a little twist to it this time.  The inflammation was in the back of my eye this time instead of the front and I had fluid behind my retina.  That was what was causing the blurry vision and achiness.  She did not want to treat me any further and sent me to the opthamologist that I saw last year. 

So I went over there and waited.  They did another vision test on my right eye.  I couldn't see anything!  Then they did some weird scan thing that took pictures of the back of my eye.  Then I saw the dr.  He said we needed to get another injection and start on the drops again.  I was ok with it because last time it didn't hurt.  This time however...

He put the numbing drops in and waited for a few minutes.  Then he came back and got ready to give me the injection.  As he started to poke, it hurt!  A lot!  Nothing was numb.  Since it hurt I was kind of squeezing my eye shut so he pulled the needle back out to get a different angle.  I told him it hurt so he gave me another numbing drop (I personally think they weren't numbing drops.  I think he had the wrong bottle).  Then he told me to look off to the side so he could have better access to that lower corner.  Then he stuck the needle in again.  It hurt!  Again!  And that membrane is tough to poke through so he had to push.  Did I mention that it hurt?!  Just as he got the needle in and began putting in the steroids, the headrest that my head was resting on, fell backwards and my head fell backwards.  He pulled the needle out really fast because he wasn't sure what had happened.  Then he had to put that stupid needle in my eye a 3rd time, still not numb and slowly finish injecting the steroids.  Oh my heck!  It was one of the most horrible things I have ever had to do.  Plus, now I am scared to go back to him!  Unfortunately I have to go back next Tuesday.

Anyways, that all started at 10:15 Tuesday morning.  It is now Thursday and my eye was still dilated today.  Not as bad, but it certainly was not back to normal.  I think he accidentally put dilating drops in my eyes instead of numbing drops.  If I ever have to get another injection, I am going to make him double check the bottle before he sticks me in the eye!
This was me Wednesday morning.  If you've ever seen Fievel Goes West - I have the Laaaazy Eye ☺

My eyes still ache, my left eye underneath is still puffy.  I still have a blurry spot.  Nothing seems to be getting better yet.  I go back Tuesday and he will check me again.  Then we will discuss the need to go see a retina specialist.  I am super frustrated with this all but I am very glad that I don't have to have my eyes dilated constantly like I did last time.  The blurry spot is annoying and gets in my way and the achy eyes make days at work long but it could be worse...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Apple Picking!

Tonight was a beautiful night so we decided to pick a few apples.  Our trees are loaded this year!  Here are a few pictures of the evening ☺

The view from our yard.  What a beautiful evening!

Nava and Sue were there to help.  Sue wouldn't stand still for a picture.

Zeke...  I love him ☺