Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Easy years are gone

Well, my blogging days have been very few and far between! I think between life being very busy, Facebook's easy of sharing the daily and Blogger loosing all my connections to friend's blogs - it just hasn't been the place to go.

I'm 35 now, 35.....  Nearly 20 years out of HS, married for almost 14 and my goodness I have wrinkles on my upper chest (Google says it is from side sleeping... or age and side sleeping...).  The days of being young are OVER!  I'm not necessarily feeling old, but I'm certainly not feeling young and probably won't ever in my life again.

I was just telling my husband last night, I feel like the easy years are behind us.  This is not to be a downer, just to be realistic.  Every year has its challenges, but I'm afraid the challenges ahead will be more difficult than the ones of the past.

Currently we are hosting a Bible study on Gary Thomas' "Sacred Marriage" and there are so many amazing points made.  One is that trials build maturity. A life of ease may be nice and all, but true maturity and growth occurs when life gets hard. When reliance on God is essential for survival and your inner being is shaped by His hands.

I'm not sure I'm just ready for these trials I know lay ahead, but I know my God is ready and for that I am grateful.  I am grateful to know that no matter what does lie ahead, God will use it for good and it will be for the benefit of His kingdom.

This last year has been full of challenges. Family kind, the ones you don't share on your public blog.  It has been hard, really hard some days.  Not without fruit though, hopefully bigger fruit is yet to birth from these hardships.

Like I pray with my girls each night - "Make us a blessing, help us to use what You have given us to bring your love to those around us."

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

One and a Half - Abby

Abby! You are a smiley little sweetheart! My favorite thing is coming home from work in the morning and having you run out giggling and wanting in my arms!  Daddy says you can hear the car from the bottom of the hill and start getting excited to see me.  You continue to try and imitate all the things you see us doing and want to help with dishes, laundry, sweeping, wiping the counters.  Your new favorite thing is sitting at the breakfast bar on the stool like a big girl.  You do not want to sit in your high chair!  It is a bit sketchy, but you have not yet fallen badly, you just get into trouble for climbing up on to the counter and grabbing things that you should not.
Words you use regularly -
Buk (buckle), Milk, side (outside), Mama, Dada, Aum (autumn)

Abby 20 months

Sweet Abby!! You are now 20 months old!!

Things to remember: Swimming pool, jumping, dancing - asking for ballet suit, climbing the stools, climbing on to the changing table, hugs good night, cut first molars - posing for pictures, running laps in living room, asking for books at night

Autumn is 5!!!!

Sweet Girl, I can't believe you are 5!!!  Autumn you are bright, wonderful, loyal, loving and determined!  It has been a wonderful year! It is the first year of your life you lived in the same home all year long!  In the fall your Nana and Papa spent a month with us and then Grandma Mary came for a month too! We transitioned from family to fun holidays and then did a few camping trips to the beach and volcano with the Brewsters!  You continued to love gymnastics and have moved all the way up to Hot Shots with the teacher saying you will likely be ready to compete before you are old enough. You enjoy practicing your cart wheels, round offs, hand stands, bridges, splits and other moves most evenings!  You have become more of a helper and friend to Abby over the year and it has been fun to watch you guys become better friends.  Your best friend is still Sophia, but you really enjoy time with all your other friends as well!  We got a play structure and spent many hours getting it set up, painted and ready for a lot of fun!  You love climbing on it, swinging, playing house and sliding down the very steep slide! Your summer was filled with many adventures with the family and our friend Rachel who lived with us for the summer. She watched you and Abby in the mornings - you guys played, went to swim lessons, Rachel taught you ballet camp! On the weekends we went camping at volcano and tried to go and see as much of the island as possible!  Right after Rachel left for college you started 4 year old preschool! You love preschool and it has been a great experience!  Right before your birthday we all flew to Disney World to enjoy your Nana's dream of taking her grand children there!  You had so much fun at each park and were just the right age for princess visiting fun, the slow rides and some of the mellow roller coasters!  We finished your 5th year by eating dinner in Cinderella's castle during the fireworks show - it was pretty awesome!!

Autumn, we are so proud of you!  This year you took communion for the first time and tell us that Jesus died for you! We pray you allow Jesus to be your Savior everyday and let him guide your life forever!  With Him You are capable of doing anything! You are a strong and loving girl that will make this place

Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese, California Rolls, Milk
Favorite Colors: Pink, Purple and Light Blue
Favorite Animal: Monkey and Gorilla
Wants to be an Archaeologist when she grows up (most of the year you said you wanted to be a dr.)
Favorite Toy? Tea Set
Favorite Book? Frozen
Favorite Movie? Frozen
Best Friend? Sophia Brewster
Favorite Outfit? Anna and Elsa Pink
Favorite room in the house? My Room
Favorite thing to make? Cookies
Favorite Craft? Making things like tops in the workshop
Favorite Fruit? Grapes
Favorite Vegetable? Edemame
Favorite Netflix? Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Favorite thing to do outside? Playgrounds
Favorite thing at gymnastics? Bars
Favorite way to wear you hair? Ponytail (mostly you choose to wear it down or with a headband)
Favorite Princess? Elsa
Favorite thing to do at the beach? Swim with my friends
Favorite thing about Daddy? Loving on him, cuddling.
Favorte thing about Abby? Playing with her
Favorite thing about Mommy? Same as with daddy, loving and cuddling you
Favorite part of the Big Island? Higashihara Park
Why do you love Colorado? Cause there is snow and my grandparents live there

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For Work

Reasons Patients Fall:

1. Position, they were sitting too long, lying on one side too long, they were
getting restless and bored in their present surroundings so they had a
need to move their position.

2. Personal needs/potty
3. Pain, so they were becoming uncomfortable, aching and hurting, so they
needed to move to relieve themselves of the pain.

4. Placement of their personal items, their glasses were out of reach, the
tissue box or telephone, call light button in reach: so it was the placement of a personal item that
they were getting up for that led to them falling.

  1. Appropriate activities through out day, allowing pt to walk as much as possible as part of their normal routine (to meals, to the toilet, to an activities), Standing during bingo, standing at table before meals, standing at rails in hallway

  1. and 3. Quick Response time to call lights (less than 5 mins, ideally 1-2 minutes), knowing your residence typical bowel and bladder habits and taking them during the time they normally need to go, adhering to timed toileting programs, noticing pre-toileting behaviors such as fidgeting, restlessness. Maintaining ROM programs. Timely pain medication management.
  1. a) Adequate lighting and access to overhead light if they are able to use. (
    b) Correct height on bed = 90 degrees – never a low/high bed. Return bed height after changing linen.
    c) If you move anything in the room, return it to correct position (lock Wheelchairs, walkers close to/far from resident, return bed side commodes where they belong for that time of day)
    d) Appropriate use of bed transfer bars for mobility

Other Building Strategies:

Consistent Staffing so Nurses and CNA's know their residents
Spreading out Mon-Fri staff (Rehab, Office, Admin...)
Appropriate use of weighted dolls and blankets
Contrasting Toilet Seats (black with white floors), Bright bed comforters, Bright shoes on residence, brightly colored tubing on call lights, glasses and other personal items
Appropriate use of anti-roll back or automatically locking brakes on Wheelchairs

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Abby 17 months

Sweet Abby! You are such a big girl now!  You no longer toddle, can run, do a somersault, go up and down the stairs (although safety when you try to go down forward is not so great), and climb about anything! So grown up and yet so little coming in at less than 30 inches and 18 1/2 pounds. In the last 2 weeks your language skills have really blossomed! For a while you have been saying mama, dada, hi, muck (milk), gog(dog), bd(bird), jack, ahh (autumn), hss(horse), In the last couple of weeks you've added bup(up), nana, papa, baw(ball), talk, my(mine), bk(book), trk(truck)

You truly think you can do anything and firmly stand your ground when you want something.  You enjoy climbing our new play set and continue to go down the slide even though it is fast and you've crashed at the bottom a couple times. You love the water and splashing in the ocean!  You've grown more comfortable on the stand up board and laugh joyfully when bigger waves hit us on the shore.  The last couple of weeks we've sat and watched whales, although I don't think you've seen them, when we ask where is the whale you point out at the ocean.    There are horses that live across the street and you love to go look at them and frequently walk out the carport to see if they are there. Sometime you enjoy following Autumn around doing exactly what she is and wanting what is in her hands and other times you like to do your own thing and wander off.

Things you love:
Shoes - giving us ours, picking your own and trying on any pair laying around
Eating - California rolls, fruit, smoothies, eggs, bananas, avocados, oatmeal, cream cheese, yogurt...
Dancing - when music comes on you drop everything and bounce to the rhythm
Being outside - doing anything, going on walks
Getting into daddy's office then pushing buttons and touching the computer
Opening and especially closing any door
Putting lids on and taking them off containers
Sitting on the toilet, taking a single sheet of tp and rubbing your hip with it and then throwing it in the toilet
Pushing the tv button, we have to unplug it to keep it off.
Mamas milk
Being tossed,held up high and flying
Dangling from bars and trees
Hanging out with Jack
Posing for the camera

Things you do not like:
Being held by others (not mama or dada) or talked or reached at by strangers
Not getting thing someone else has
Being put down if you want held
Leaving mama

Abby we love you to the moon and back! Keep growing, loving life and smiling! 

Mama and Dada

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

14 Months - Abby

Another 2 months has pasted and you have changed so much!  Not only are you bigger, but you are so much more into everything!!  The house is your domain and you are pretty much into everything - all cabinet locks are now needed! If you had it your way you would be dangerously wonder the yard climbing up and down stairs and on rocks.Where's   I had to move the advent calendar because you were climbing up the chair and standing on the back of it to reach the pockets.  Although you do not have many words you are very vocal and are starting to make more sounds - like meh for milk (and somehow you decided that sticking your finger up your nose is the sign for milk...)  For food or drink you typically do the sign for eat to your lips.  You will chatter and chatter and look at us and make an unintelligible sentence expecting we fully know exactly what you have said!  It is so cute - but doesn't help have a clue what you need! 

Sleeping - has gotten so much better!  You are now consistently sleeping from around 8pm until I feed you at 3:30-4. Most of the time you wake up around 6 for daddy and occasionally sleep past 8. During the day you occasionally take a 1-2 hour nap, but mostly take shorter 30-40 minute morning and afternoon naps.

Since your last update we got stand up paddle boards and you have enjoyed getting rides. We have slowly added the time you ride and on Thanksgiving you rode out into Kailua Bay in a lifejacket leaning on my legs with me kneeling. You eventually fell asleep!  I can't wait for the first time you get to see the dolphins out there.

Funny/no so funny things we commonly say to you:
Please quite climbing on the oven
Don't pinch Autumn or pull her hair
Are you stinky?
You're okay - after you tumble, trip or bonk - you are pretty sensitive and cry easily, but this somehow does not inhibit you from doing crazy dangerous things.
Leave your diaper on please

Things that make you Abby -
You love to pick your clothes out in the morning with daddy
You are a ham and love to pose and smile for the camera
You love your baby dolls, the kitchen, dress up with hats, headbands or other clothing items
You love to brings us things to put on you  that you can't get on yourself- shoes, goggles, hair clips
You love to eat and drink - almost anything we put in front of you - sausage, beans, seaweed - but will pick and chose what you like best that day leaving the lesser foods on your tray.
Your laugh is infectious - even in the middle of a fit I can kiss your belly or neck and get sweet giggles.
You are sooooooooo loud - you've got big lungs for a little girl and can shriek so loud it literally makes our ears hurt - someday you will be a great singer!

Grandma got to come spend a month with us and you did very well letting her care for you!  We decided that Nana broke you in and it was a nice change compared to when Nana and Papa first arrived and you ran away from them. You enjoyed lots of special playtime and cuddles!  We all dressed up as the Little Mermaid family for Halloween for your sister!  While grandma was here we also had an early Thanksgiving and decorated the tree - you love putting ornaments on and off the tree. We tried to block the tree with wrapped boxes full of rocks and they just became step stools to reach higher up the tree. So we pushed them under and they at least keep you from getting to the light cords.  You have become more comfortable with friends we see often even crawling into Irina's lap during gymnastics when I was holding Jack.


Abby! You are so full of life and love!  You change everyday growing with curiosity and adventure for this world! We Love You Sooooo much!!

Hugs and Kisses - Momma and Dadda

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cousin Daves Vetern Day Speech to his Elementary School

Here's my Veteran's Day speech to students from this morning's assembly:

Each day at Grandview Elementary we repeat a motto:
Be Respectful. Be Responsible. Be Kind.

Those are values we want each of you to be committed to. However, this morning we’re going to talk about a different word – commitment. The definition of commitment is as follows:

- a promise to do or give something

- a promise to be loyal to someone or something

- the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something

The reason I want to talk about the word commitment is because in order to become a Veteran, it takes commitment.

Now, let’s back up – what is a Veteran?
A person who has served in the armed forces

Originally, Veteran’s Day was first known as Armistice Day after the treaty for World War I was signed in 1919.

Then, in 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars not just World War I.

Since then, Americans have become more and more dedicated to not just reflecting on those veterans who fought and/or died in wars but a day to honor ALL veterans. And why should we honor all veterans? We honor them because of that word I first mentioned - commitment.

The men and women seated up here today and all of those not with us but whom are veterans, made a commitment to something bigger than themselves. They promised to serve our country before anything else in their lives. They said goodbye to their families and friends and left their communities to go to far away places in order to protect our freedom.

Some had very amazing or even scary jobs where they were in charge of jet planes or huge cannons or guns. Sometimes they even had to fight with others.

Some had jobs that may have seemed as exciting, like being a mechanic or medic on those planes or boats or maybe they had a job as a communication officer where they sent messages back and forth.

But no matter what job any of these people had, they showed amazing commitment and they did it for you and for me and because of that, I want YOU to be committed to thanking them each and every Veteran’s Day.

Will you do that with me? [insert visual of 400 kids saying "yes"]

I have one more short story. Each and every year I have decided to be committed to calling several veterans who are important to me. I don’t do anything fancy. I don’t buy them presents, I don’t even send them a card, all I do is call. And one of them tells me that because of that simple “thank you” and “Happy Veteran’s Day” message, today is one of his favorite days of the year.

It doesn’t take much but that simple message can make all those years and sacrifices and that commitment I talked about, feel worthwhile.

So, boys and girls, please help me now by giving a huge Grandview round of applause on this Veteran’s Day to these men and women who committed themselves to serving us and our country.

[insert visual of 400 elementary kids, their teachers and several parents standing and clapping for 15-20 veterans here]

If you're a veteran I haven't gotten in touch with today, please know I appreciate the commitment you've role modeled. God Bless you!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Abby's First Trip around the Sun!

Abby you are ONE today!!  It is crazy and hard to believe that a year ago we met eyes for the first time! You are such a fun, go go go baby!  Words I would use to describe you are - curious, beautiful, determined, playful, silly, clingy, opinionated, tender, loving, and climber.  Abby you are a great gift from God full of love and kindness to give to the world.

I missed your 11 month update because life has been so so so busy!  Your Nana and Papa arrived on Sept 4th and then we had your sister's 4th birthday and then traveled the island!  It has been a busy but wonderful couple of months!  You've fully mastered walking and have moved on to trying to climb up on everything you can. You can get into the black bucket chair, on Autumns lower bunk and stand on all toys and boxes under 12 inches tall!  Your motivation seems to be for fun, not purely determination - I'll watch you walk into Autumn's room, stand on her new turtle stool, get down and walk out amused.  You have quite the sense of humor - you will toy with us intentionally pretending to feed us food and pulling back just before it reaches our mouth and chuckle! It is so cute!  You still enjoy blowing raspberries and have just learned to blow kisses.  It took a couple weeks of being a cling on before you figured out that playing and cuddling with Nana and Papa was pretty great!  You'd even go knock on Nana's door to let her know you wanted to play.  You enjoyed shoulder rides from papa and tapping on Nana's Ipad.  By the time Nana left you were even willing to let me hand you to her while I stayed in the room - a miracle!!!

We had a lovely first birthday for you on the 22th of Sept so Papa could be here for it. Many friends showed up and made it a very special celebration - you were thoroughly spoiled, got to eat cake and enjoyed cruising around with everyone here! You had a wonderful demeanor for the entire party and never seemed overwhelmed. It was really a lot of fun!

You seem to change a little everyday - it is amazing to watch!  You are way into container play and love anything that holds things  - you've enjoyed pulling the tupperware of bottle parts out of the cupboard and hauling it all over for days. You still enjoy pushing things and now pulling your little wagon.  You take good care of your babies giving them hugs, kisses and bottles.  You do pretty well out and about, but it is getting hard to entertain you for meals or shopping. Most of the time you end up under my arm 'helping' me push the cart!  You have strong opinions and make sure your needs, wants and desires are known to us. You shake your head yes and pull back for no, point and shout, sign more, all done and milk.  It sounds like you say mama, dada and Awe (for Autumn) - but it isn't consistent.

Sleep is about the same - it has been easier for me to just feed you when you wake, you've still never gone through a night without at least 2 feedings.  We're all kind of used to it, but should start trying to get a bit longer of a stretch!   Although you are up in the night, you usually string together 10-12 hours before completely waking from 8pm to 6-8am.  If I didn't have to go to work at 4am, this would be a great schedule!! 

Your official Dr Visit stats: Weight 16 lbs 4.8 oz (less than 3rd percentile), Height 28 1/4 inches (18th percentile), Head Circum 17 1/2 inches (27th percentile).

You light up around your sister and other children and enjoy clapping, dancing and watching and copying what the other children are doing!  You certainly want to be part of the action!!  You love the beach, walking in the sand, feeling it and even eating it...  You also love the pool!! A few weeks ago we were at a condo with Nana and Papa and at the pool you let me put the goggles on you and you'd grab my hands and fall into the water over and over - it was so cute!!  You like to ride on my stomach like a ski and bob around in the water!  At the zoo you enjoy watching the birds, monkeys and other animals. Your eyes are full of curiosity!

Happy 1st Birthday Abby! We love you so so so so much and are so grateful to have you as part of our sweet little family!  We look forward to getting to know you more and watching your fun little personality blossom!
Mamma and Dadda

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumn's 4

Autumn you are 4!!!!! Not a ton has changed since your last update - but you are loving gymnastics and able to do a cartwheel and getting better at all the skills! You started Awana Cubbies and have graduated to big kid Sunday school at church and you really enjoy doing the big kid stuff! Nana and Papa arrived right before your birthday and you have thoroughly enjoyed being spoiled! Right before your birthday was the big Kona carnival and you got to ride the Ferris wheel and eat fry bread.  You are way into practicing gymnastics (including teaching your babies and animals), playing dress up, playing with your new doll house the Hogans left you when they moved and dinking around outside in the dirt or under the pine tree. You love the beach, swimming at the pool, park dates, dancing on the grassy stage at the kona inn, eating California rolls at Shimaichi, dancing with daddy and making decisions! One day friends came over and you threw on a penguin costume just to be funny! You enjoy being a silly giggle head! You enjoy your friends and seem to be figuring out how to be a good friend. You can trace and color pretty well and will copy your name fairly well.  You can still read your favorite books by memory.  You continue to have energy we wish we could tap and only occasionally take a nap if you've have a really busy or high exertion activity.  You are a sweet and wonderful girl! We love you so much!!! Love, Mommy and Daddy

What do you want to be when you grow up? "A Doctor"
Favorite animal? Monkey
Favorite Color? Pink ("When I get older I want a pink car")
Favorite Toy? Abby's Carriage I got her for her birthday
Favorite Book? Good Night Hawaiian Moon
Best Friend? Little Calvin
Favorite Outfit? Blue and White Hawaiian Dress
Favorite room in the house? My Room
Favorite thing to cook? Cookies
Favorite food? Macoroni
Favorite fruit? Banana
Favorite vegetable? Broccoli
Favorite Netflix? Angelina Ballerina, Dragon Tales, Magic School Bus
Favorite thing to do outside? Run
Favorite thing at gymnastics? Big Trampoline
Favorite way to wear your hair? Curls
Favorite Princess? Everyone
Favorite thing to do at the beach? Playing in the water
Favorite part of the Big Island? Kamakahonu or the Hilo Zoo
Favorite thing about Abby? Dancing with her
You didn't ask me my favorite island? Which one? Colorado
Why do you love Colorado? It snows

Recent Quotes:  "Will the princess in Disney be alive or dead?" "How are baby's made?" "I want to be 6!" "Can we just move back to Colorado?" "Stop talking about the snow or I'm going to want to eat some!"