Sunday, October 24, 2010

Snoqualmie Valley, Mackinzie and Cole.

This is Mackinzie. She just turned 6 and is in kindergarten. I get to work with her 4 days a week. When she was in her mommy's tummy her family learned that she only had 1/2 a heart. At 6 months of age she had a heart transplant and continued to develop normally, but about a month after she turned 4 she got sick and on the way home from Seattle Children's Hospital she stopped breathing. Her mom stopped the car and did CPR, but her brain was with out oxygen for so long that she became as if she had drowned. She is tube fed and has a nurse every night monitoring her. She used to take about 48 meds. I do things for Kenzie like stretch out her arms and legs to put on her orthotic's. She has a bag of them- 3 different ones for her hands alone. She needs to be put in a stander at least an hour a day to stretch out. She coughs to get the flem out of her stomach and throat and has a suction machine in the car and by her bed. She wears a humidifier on her face every night.
Kenzie's family consists of her mom Elaine who is a great cook with a fun personality, Ethan who is 9 with red hair, John the dad and Cole the gentle giant Malamute. I walk Cole first thing every time I come so he gets his exercise and stops whining. People are often leary at first by how big he is, but he really is the most sweetest dog. He whines every time he sees another 4 legged friend wanting to see him. We started out with very short walks, but have progressed to quite long ones around the golf course they live around.
Mackenzie's has thick beautiful dark curly hair and lots of cute hair accessorizes and clothes. Like most of my child clients she dresses better than me. These pictures do not do her justice. She really is a darling little girl. Kenzie gets lots of therapy- occupational, physical, feeding and her parents took her to the Dominican Republic twice for stem cell injections. Stem cell therapy is not FDA approved in the US yet. The cells are brought from Europe to the DR. The family has a lot of hope for her as she has made improvements already.
The family lives in the Eagles Nest a small gated community and this is the view just before going through the gates where I walk Cole and get more than a 180 degree view. I'm just amazed at the beauty every time I come. It's so beautiful, these pictures don't do it justice. Of course Snoqualmie Falls is just down the main road.

Right before the gate.

Mount Si or "Twin Peaks"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Turbulance anyone? What should we do?

What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road.

Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.

(President Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most")

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Cat With Out A Name

Every day we keep calling the cat Kitty and usually some other name like buttons, or mitten, or peanut. Even though he still has no official name we just love him. He's a snuggler and LOVES to sleep by us, to have his paws on our face, to fall at our feet when we come home or sit on the toilet so we can pet him.
Hanging with the family!
A pen, a pencil, a straw, socks, ties on clothes, clothes were getting on- anything is a toy to Kitty.
Kitty loves Jason! He always likes to sleep on his warm parts!
He LOVES water and is addicted to watching the toilet flush. He'll also get in the tub and just sit there. One time he almost got in with me, sitting on the ledge, pawing at the bubbles, leaning over the edge and trying to get the courage to get in. We are working on toilet training him because he will walk around the toilet ledge, come running when we flush and stand up to look over when the water goes down. It's also cheaper than buying cat litter. Yesterday after flushing, Jason put some toilet paper in and kitty kept trying to get it out with his paws! He knows what's going to happen to that thing. We are really enjoying having him in our family.

He has met Parker in the van. They got nose to nose and sniffed. Parker could care less. Coco and Kitty met through a glass door. Coco tried to get him and Kitty ran away.
We will work on that one.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A modern day plague: Pornography

definition: anything that is intended to sexual arouse.

I share these links and posts because I feel strongly about this and want to make it accessible to me and I want to the world to know too.

A link from one LDS mother who has created a "zero tolerance policy" in their home and what she found in an art book.

A link with quotes from church leaders, information about the world that is creating PG porn, and the Twilight series from an LDS author and much more!

Our stake is working on eradicating pornography.

Avoid pornography as you would a plague.
–President Gordon B. Hinckley

Saturday, October 2, 2010

One tail and many letters

Parker my Japanese Chin has huge skin problems. He has ever since we got him 4 years ago. When he's on antibiotic's it gets cleared up, but when he's not scabs start popping up. I decided to shave his back today, so we could see all the wounds and then work on healing them. They are on his tail too, so I shaved some of that off. It left a weird patch of hair on his tail and so I took scissors to it. The scissors were cheap dull dollar store brand - or so I thought, because I literally cut off the tip of his tail! While it was only like 2 mm, it bled like crazy. Mom and I sat with him for a while holding it with a paper towel as that soaked through. We let him down and he went out the dog door and left blood on the door. There was blood everywhere- on the floor, on the wall, on the couch, on my shirt and pants and on Parkers back. After trying holding him again, I called the vet and they said to take him in. Mom carried him to the van. He got blood everywhere there. When he sit still it stops bleeding and I almost turned around and came home instead of spending money, but went ahead anyway.

The walk in vet clinic was full of people and animals. I'd never seen that many in the entry way.

We waited and got in a room and waited some more. They wanted to do surgery- to stitch him up to the tune of 300.00. After 2 surgeries in July we just couldn't, so with a penicillin shot, and 2 meds we headed home. Of course back in the lobby were new clients and their animals and here's my dog spraying blood everywhere on the floor and people asking me what is wrong and why didn't they bandage it up. It's so great to tell people that you cut your dogs tail off! So many stupid things have happened at my hand lately I feel like I swallowed a stupid pill. Does anyone know where to get a smart pill?? So Parker is at home, not bleeding anymore. He just ate a flat squid for a treat that was given to Jason and I a few months ago from our landlord upon returning from some Asian country. We froze them, but yesterday I took them out to bring to the dogs as I watched conference with my mom.

Usually I'm frozen to the screen hanging on every word those leaders have to say, but with my mom moving to Boise next summer it's clean up time. I started going through a box of letters that I had received from others in college at Ricks from roommates, sorority sisters, my high school ward friends young and old, while I was on my mission. I'm not done keeping and throwing away. The largest stacks are from my mom and Ann Braithwaite (my second family).

There are letters from boys I don't remember who they are now. Letters from mission companions (oh, how I love their words) and people I taught on my mission as well as families in the wards. Letters from college roommates, some I'm still in contact with and others who I haven't thought of in over a decade. Precious few letters from my father- one about my grades! A letter from my grandfather and a few special letters from siblings that will be treasures. The memories of how we felt about each other then, as one was still at home and I was in college. Often letters that mentioned my desire to get married- oh how I worried about that- and as it turned out I was right to worry. It took forever to happen. There were letters mentioning "Randy" and "Elder Gardner", I guess I really stressed over that last one. One letter mentioned my decision to go into special education- of which I didn't, but my life has been just that -helping others 'less fortunate than me', as my patriarchal blessing says. There were letters from Sunday school teachers and YW leaders, birthday cards, every holiday card you can think of. Cards with sentiments like " I think of you all the time", "I love you madly"( this one is not from a boy), "You've been on my mind", "you'll be a great missionary", "you've touched so many lives", "You're such a great example". It feels good to know that in essence I was and am the same person with the same desire to do and be a good person and to make a difference. That people still say the same things about me today as they did all those years ago.

It's also interesting to note the letters I threw away and the letters I kept- who they were from, and how I feel about that now and perhaps the depth or lack of depth they showed even in those letters back then. There is more in the box and I will have to continue to go through them and decide- keep or throw away. It's hard to through away words of love and the handwriting of your mother and others. I suspect in a future day I will have to go through them again, this time letter by letter to decide which ones had special memories in them and which are just the everyday stuff of life.

There are even letter from nieces and nephews as children who are now grown up with children of their own.

But one thing I thought was how sad it will be for the kids today- they will have no letters. How can you keep a text message sent on a cell phone or a Facebook greeting? You can't. As much as I love Facebook- and I do- something is missing. Some of those people in those letters I"m still friends with. I still visit them when I travel and I still call them and I'm for sure friends with them on Facebook. But what I have is proof of love and care. I have handwritten letters that took much more time than a text or a quick sentence or two and that say I love you, I miss you, because we just don't know when we will see each other again or if we will see each other again, but that we made an impact on each others life and were friends and although we are far away from each other, we want to be close, if not physically, then at least emotionally and spirituality. It's proof that people care. Proof. I love that and need that in my life.

Those letters are a treasure.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Peacegiver

If you have not read the book "The Peacegiver", you must. It's about one mans journey learning about the atonement through 'visits' with family and seeing scriptural stories take place. It could change your life. It did mine.