Wednesday, January 17, 2018

February 25, 2017 Our Last Pinewood Derby

We were so excited for Gunnar's last pinewood derby. We went back over to our old house and had our neighbor help Gunnar cut his car. It looked great. Then, the morning on the derby as Dwight and Gunnar were working on the car it broke!!! There was some panic in our house. But, it all worked out. We went and bought a pre-shaped car at hobby lobby and Dwight and Gunnar got it all weighed. Dwight is now a master of pinewood derby. The wheels are really important too. Gunnar ended up getting second place. We were all a little disappointed. After Dwight went and made a tiny adjustment to his wheels and the boys re-raced and Gunnar beat the boy who won every time. So, even though he got second place he really had the fastest car. We'll take it. :)

 Gunnar loves the color green and camouflage. We were excited when we found this skin for pinewood derby cars. You just wet it and rub it on. It was so very cool. It was also light and didn't impact the weight much. That is important. Pinewood derby has been such a fun experience for our family. We will miss it! 

February 2017 Bear's first back packing trip

He loves camping and had so much fun backpacking.

February 2017 A quick trip to San Francisco

My hubby had a trip to San Francisco for work and I had some airline credit so we decided it would make a fun get away for just the two of us. I loved everything about it. I love the airport. I love flying. It's such an adventure. 
 San Francisco is beautiful and kinda scary too. lol. I love being near the water. The ocean and sand fill my soul. San Francisco is also very green and has pretty hills. I love the surrounding area too. It is just beautiful. There are a lot of homeless people though. They scare me and remind me of visiting my mom in the psyche hospital. I don't like that part of it. 

 We walked out on the pier and did a little shopping and had lunch at a pizza place. This is a picture from out the window next to our table. I LOVE being by the water. We live in the wrong place!!!
We had so much fun just being together. 

February 14, 2017 Valentine's Day

Valentine's day. Steak and my love. Perfection!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

January 2017 Moving

In January of 2017 our landlord of 7 plus years gave us 30 days notice to move. He decided to sell the house. I had been having this feeling that I needed to find us a new house. So, we actually had gone to look at several houses before this happened. The 30 days was kind of a bummer. There weren't a lot of rental houses on the market that worked for our family needs. So we ended up in a house that we don't love. But, we decided to sign a 2 year lease so we don't have to move again too soon and we can decide what we want to do with our lives. The kids were great helpers with the move. Moving is no fun!! Thankful for the hand of the Lord in our lives. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

January - April 2017 Bringing my Mom home

On January 3, 2017 I transfered my mom from the psyche hospital in Phoenix to a group home in Gilbert. I drove her myself this time. She wouldn't walk at all but she would stand up to transfer into the car. I was nervous  but, everything worked out ok. I brought her clothes and bedding, some pictures and books and got her all moved in. The owner of the home was there. She was a very nice woman. She introduced us to the staff and the other residents. Just 3 other women at this point. I felt good about it. January went well. She was happy and seemed very stable. I visited her everyday.

 In February I started to feel concerned for her mental stability. Signs of decline were starting to show. I talked to the staff and they didn't seem to notice much. I trust my instinct though and knew I needed to keep a close eye. I asked to look through her medication and asked specifics on who and how it was being dispensed. I was a little bit worried about it. The main care taker though had experience working in a psyche hospital and assured me that they were taking good care of her and giving her her medication correctly. I trusted them. 

In March things rapidly got worse. I knew that she was going to need to go back to the hospital but, I was trying to wait as long as possible to take her for both her sake and my own. Late one Friday night while Dwight and I were out on a date the caretaker called me. We went over and picked her up and took her to the closest emergency room. The next day she was transferred back to the psyche hospital in Phoenix. 

She had the same doctor that she had in December. I think this helped a lot. He knew her. She improved very quickly this time. Within just a couple of days he told me that he believed her medication was not being given correctly at the home. That was the only reason she became unstable. He told me that he had been wrong the time before. That she could safely live at home as long as her medication was monitored. She began to walk again after not walking since the previous November. She stayed for 2 weeks. When I picked her up she walked out with a new walker. I took her back to the group home. She wanted to go there. She told me she didn't want to be a burden to anyone and it was easier if she lived there. I took her knowing that I planned to bring her home soon. I had lost my trust in them.

When we returned to the group home I told the home owner that I believed there were mistakes in her medication. I knew the dates I had filled her prescriptions and how many pills there should be. I counted and found the proof that they had not done it correctly. She had missed 2 different medications for an entire month. She assured me that changes would be made and the problems corrected. I organized all of her medication. Each day I went back I would check again. Every  day there was a new problem with her medication. Staff was going in and changing things in her pill pack after I fixed it. Every day this would happen. I took pictures everyday of the mistakes. After just a few days of being back there I knew I needed to bring her home. She was walking again. I knew I could do this.

So in April my mom came home. It was a little harder than when she left in December. She needs more help now. My Aunt Patty helps her with a simple breakfast and lunch. I take care of all her medications. My girls and I make sure they have dinner each night. Often they eat something different than us because of issues with teeth or swallowing or dietary things. So, we make 2 dinners most nights. I help her shower a couple times a week. We have a shower chair and it works out just fine. She can change her clothes and clean up on her own in between. 

We visit the psychiatrist once a month to make sure she is stable. We go to the primary care doctor every 6 months and the eye doctor every 3 months (she has glaucoma and they check her eye pressures). She is happy and doing well. Sometimes I have to talk her through things and help her see reality and manage stress. She has so much faith and hope though. She is a great example to me. Although I would say her mental illness is part of the hardest trials of my life I wouldn't change it. I'm thankful for all that I have learned from her. I'm thankful she is my mother.   

I don't like to talk about the specifics of her illness to protect her feelings (not that she reads or even knows about this little blog). But, for my prosperity's sake (they may need to know someday) I will say that she struggles with paranoid schizophrenia and depression because of it. Stress is a huge trigger for her. I'm afraid of getting it! But, I am passed the age when it shows up and have no signs of it. :)  

January 2017 Trip to Cali

 Recreating pictures from the past


January 5, 2017

Our first #tuesdaytempleandtacos of 2017

New Year's 2017

Gracie went off to the New Year's Dance. 

 Us girls always wear sparkles for New Year's

 A few fireworks in sprinkles the next day
My three at home doing the countdown to a balloon drop