Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Sweetest Thing

My parents loved the World Series. They'd each pick a team they'd root for and then watch every game. Who ever picked the loosing team had to pay for the others dinner. (Which I think is super cute anyways considering most of the time my mom didn't work, which meant technicially my dad always paid. But it was a fun bet they always did.)

I remember years of watching these games through dinner, or walking into the living room and seeing my parents both there watching the games. At times my dad would be to work, but mom would watch and fill him in on the highlights. I remember thinking how cool that was that my parents loved baseball so much, they'd make a game out of it. It was fun to see how excited they'd get when their teams would win. It was also fun when we'd have a babysitter come watch us so the looser could pay the winner with dinner.

A couple weeks ago Jared, out of the blue, asked if it was going to be hard for my mom. I had no idea what he was talking about. He said, "The World Series starts this week." I can't believe I'd forgotten that?! Instantly my heart melted. I was shocked that Jared remembered their bet. I didn't think he even knew when the world series was. We never watch baseball. Jared thinks it's boring, so we've never gotten into it.

That next night I walked into the living room to find Jared sitting in his green chair with the t.v. on. I found him watching The World Series! I asked him what he was doing and he said he was going to watch it and try it out, cause my dad liked it so much; then he could talk to my mom about it. Again, heart melting! I could hear at diferent times when the boys would walk in and ask what Jared was doing. He'd tell them what it was and say, "Grandpa used to watch this."

Over the next couple of weeks, I'd find Jared watching each of the seven games, and soon the boys were joining him. He even watched it with Jim up at my parents house after Sunday dinner this past week. We wanted the Giants to win, and sure enough, last night they did.

That has to be one of the sweetest things I've seen Jared do, especially considering he's always hated watching baseball. But you know what? After about the second or third game, he was upset he had to turn it off to leave for something. He told me it was actually getting pretty intense. It made me smile inside. We might just have a new baseball watching fan on our hands around here. I'm sure my dad was smiling through this.

I love that guy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Duke died tonight. Jared ran him over. T.J. told me earlier that he broke his chain. Later I found out it could have been fixed pretty easily, but T.J. didn't do that. This is a hard way of learning a lesson for T.J.. And I didn't handle it too nicely. Especially after I noticed he was loose. And then to hear it could have been fixed. Duke liked to chase after us as we'd leave. He would chase our bikes even. Especially T.J. as he'd leave for work. He'd even howl as he'd ride away. Dang it.

Dang it!!!!!!!!


When will things turn around?! I feel awful because Blakeley absolutely loved that puppy and would always say, "Go boys house? See Duke?" It breaks my heart that we have to tell her now that Duke is in heaven with Grandpa.

What a freakin' summer.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Advices from An Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's official. T.J. got my knees.

You know... the Kenison knees that hurt all the time.

Seriously. It sucks.

The knees that have the knee caps pulling to the outsides of the knee cap that rub wrong with every step you take. And running, don't get me started on that one. Running has never been an option for me. And now it won't be with T.J. either. It hurts too much.

So we took T.J. into an Orthopedic Specialist today. He's had knee pain since April when he was running a mile everyday at school for the fit kid's program the President of the U.S. started. And everyday he'd limp home from school. Finally, when it came time to test at the end of the year on how fast he could run it, he came to me almost in tears and said he just can't do it. We talked to his teacher and pulled him from the program. Unfortunately he didn't get a higher certificate of completion because of it. But his pain level went way down.

Then football started. And you know how that goes. Between 2 hours of practice a day and conditioning at the end, his pain is back. So much so that he is limping all the time now. His left knee is worse then his right.

So we went to the doc today. They did x-rays and it confirmed what I thought it was. His IT bands on the outer part of his thighs are too tight. Thus pulling his knee-caps over to the outsides of his knees. Which results in rubbing of the patella in the wrong spot. Instead of the bones following the track that is outlined in the knee, he's rubbing one side more then the other way too much. He also had him lie down on the table and checked his hips, making sure his growth plate wasn't out, which requires surgery to put big pins in the hip sockets connecting to the femur. So glad it isn't that! Doc said T.J. is actually really flexible. Again, something he got from me. I've been told by 3 different orthopedists that I'm too flexible. Which could be bad as well. My knees go way back when I straighten them. Too much, in fact and can be dangerous.

So here's what we're looking at:
1. Physical Therapy. Working to strengthen his butt muscles more and the inner muscles of his thighs. This will help to strengthen the muscles there to help pull his knee-caps over in the right spot. Fortunately, with Dad being a Certified Personal Trainer, we don't have to go into the hospital for PT. His doctor emailed me everything he wants T.J. to work on so Jared knows what to do. Yes!

Plus staying active helps a lot as well. It keeps those muscles strengthened to counteract the IT band.

2. Roll on a roller to loosen the IT bands. Let me tell ya, this hurts someone with this problem! We just got one of those rollers about a month ago. And that's the one area I hate working the most. Yes, doing it often will help lesson the pain, but it still kills!

3. When doing football, or running at school, when that pain starts, take a break. T.J. was happy to hear this with football. He might get out of conditioning.

4. Last, surgery. If T.J. really works on this and it isn't doing much, they will go in and actually cut the IT bands that connect the IT to the patella. T.J. is pretty young for this to be a problem already for him. I didn't find out this news until I was about 18. T.J. does not want surgery, so hopefully this helps him to do all these exercises. I don't want him to have surgery either.

So here we are. One kid so far who got my knees. I think Cody is ok, but it looks to me like Hunter might have them as well. But hey, things could be worse.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Some days a good cry is in order, and today is definitely one of those. I started back at the school officially today. I now work as an aid doing Power Hour in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. I lucked out and got both Cody's teacher this year and Hunter's. I get to do art in both, and then Power Hour in Hunter's.

Or so I thought.

One of the first things I heard after walking in to Hunter's classroom, is his teacher saying, "Ya unfortunately Hunter won't be in here when you come. He's in Mrs. F.....'s class all morning for Language Arts."  (I left her name out on purpose.)

Last week Hunter was telling me he's now in Mrs. F's class every morning so he won't see me. I told him I'd talk to his teacher and find out what is going on. Apparently, it's true. After showing me the work I'd do every day in there, I asked if I could talk to her about this switching classrooms issue. She said since they are on the same track, they decided to split the kids up. She takes the higher bunch, and Mrs. F takes the lower. I told her - and I'm hoping I can trust her with it - that Hunter was placed in Mrs' F's class but I immediately took him out. I'm worried about his self esteem being in there, because I've personally watched her completely destroy a young girl's self-esteem by saying as loud as she could that she was the dumbest one in the whole class.

And now my kid is in there.

She said to let her know if it gets to that point, but she didn't seem like she really cared or showed much sympathy. It is what it is, and that's it. She said they split it up so each teacher could teach on the level more suitable for that child. She said Hunter is one of the lowest in her class. She absolutely loves his personality and wishes she could have 30 of him because he listens so well, but he's really struggling.

I know he's struggling. I've known something wasn't right since kindergarten. We're trying. Last year it wasn't uncommon for us to do 2 hours of homework a night with him. But he has improved. I've seen it. He doesn't qualify for resource. He's reading better and faster. But he's still one of the lowest.

Working in that classroom that whole hour was hard. I was checking over students work that I thought "Why are they in here? What aren't they in with Hunter, too? They can't stay on track. And he was on the same reading level last year in second as Hunter. Why?"

I could have cried the whole hour I was in there.

I'm praying this actually turns out to be a good thing. I'm praying he has the self-esteem to realize he is a good kid, and is doing the best he can. He already struggles with his self-esteem though. He knows he has a harder time then other kids. Sometimes he stops during homework to cry and say he's dumb. He doesn't think he can be a teacher someday because of this. It breaks my heart. A friend of mine got this classroom to work in. I'm going to talk to her tomorrow and ask that she just keeps an eye on how it's going in there. Plus, there's a sweet lady that subs all the time who is helping often in there as well. I know her, and she's helped give advice and the flash cards for reading that we use. She just gave them to us. I'm hoping that between my friend, and this sweet lady, that it turns out to be OK. Actually, more then OK. I'm praying he loves it. And that he comes out on top at the end of the year.

But for now, I want to cry. I just don't understand how a teacher can talk to kids like this and get away with it. And now my Hunter is in there.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Emotional day today. Here's the jest...

1. Went to the river bottoms with Jared to go biking again. Trying to get ready for youth conference and the 20+ mile bike ride. Have only had 4 weeks to prepare for this. I now ride from 14400 So. to 12300 So.. Round trip it's about 9 miles. There's a huge hill that sits almost in the middle of this ride. Last week I conquered the slightly easier side. And today I conquered the devil's side. Let's just say it's tall and steep! I didn't think I could do it. Major wind today and I rode into it to go up this hill. But once I reached the rocks where I usually stop, I kept going. And I counted how many times my feet had to turn the pedals around before reaching the top. 47 times. Plus Jared was coming up the other side and I wanted him to see me accomplish this. By the time I reached the top, I was shaking SO bad! But I did it!!!!

Big accomplishment. Especially with only 4 weeks training. that alone makes me emotional.

2. But the down fall to my big accomplishment... As soon as we got home and I walked my bike to the garage, I knew something was not right with my right knee. The knee I severally blew out 5 years ago. It felt completely out of place inside and wouldn't pop when I'd bend it. Sometimes that resets it. But it wouldn't. It just kept making a weird popping noise. Later on it hurt to sit at a chair, or stand. Ugh! I thought I was through this major pain after exercising or doing therapy. I was so not happy. It took me literally three years to get to a point of not having pain on a daily basis. But as of tonight, it's a little bit better. Plus, my left knee is hurting as well. Not as bad as my right, but hopefully that's a good sign. Here's hoping it's not torn.

3. I got a phone call from my Dad. He asked if I'd heard about my Aunt Colleen. Immediately I knew something was wrong. He said she's not doing good. She's been in the hospital for a few days and wasn't feeling good, so they checked her out more. Her kidney's are shutting down. Aunt Kathy said it won't be long so if anyone would like to go see her, it better be soon.

One part of me is happy for her though. My Uncle Steve passed away two and a half years ago. She had a really hard time with this, as most people would. But their relationship was different. They are both handicapped. My Uncle fell from the loft of a barn when he was 6 years old and landed on his head on the cement, which left him mentally handicapped. He wasn't expected to live past the age of thirteen, but he made it to 66. And Aunt Colleen was born mostly deaf, but her family didn't know it at the time until she was older. They struggled to make ends meet and raise their two kids, but they did it. And they were side by side their entire marriage. So I'm so happy they will be together again, and be blessed with perfect bodies that they didn't have in this life. But I will miss her. She was always so sweet and caring. And always smiling.

4. I signed up for school today. Finally. I've been meaning to do that for the past month, but hadn't done it yet. I'm excited to do this in my life, but very worried about the time it will take me away from my family and the extra stress it's going to bring. I've been very excited to start school again, but right now, I'm terrified.

5. T.J. went to Young Men's for the first time tonight. Technically he's not 12 until the 21st, but he's going on a week long scout camp with them next week and tonight was their planning meeting. And when he gets back, he'll turn 12 the next day. So tonight is the first of Young Men's activities for us for the next 10 years. I cannot believe this time has already come.

So there's my day. There's been a lot of good, but there's also been the hard moments.

I'm glad it's over without crying much.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blood Test Results

I really should have begun this post last Wednesday. I received a call from the doctor late Wednesday afternoon but didn't know it at the time. I'd taken the boys to the scholastic book fair. Everything there was on sale. Everything we bought was 50% off, and for scholastic books, that's a killer deal! But it was loud in their warehouse and so I hadn't heard my phone ring.

The doc left a message saying the results had come in and for the most part, everything looked good except that it had shown Cody had had strep in the last little while. He said if he hadn't of been treated with antibiotics recently, that we should put him on them just to make sure it was cleared up. He said he was the on-call doc that night so I could call him and talk more if I wanted to. But of course, that was the craziest day for us and I didn't have a second to call until 10:15 that night. So I waited until he was in the office today to call.

Funny thing though, or maybe you'd call it ironic, that this past weekend Cody wasn't feeling the greatest. Saturday morning Cody was up early and ready to head to the park for a good run. I told him to take it easy if he couldn't breath and walk it out, then start to jog easily again. About twenty minutes after they left, Hunter rode his bike home as fast as he could to tell me Cody couldn't breath. So I headed over to the park. Apparently Cody had run about half way around, taking little breaks, and by the time he reached the back side, he couldn't breath. So he walked back and sat under a tree. He was ok, just scared him a bit. We also watched Blakeley that morning, and everything was fine. Cody had her out feeding the chickens with her, and walked her all over to see all the animals. But that afternoon he started complaining that he wasn't feeling right. And by that night he had chills, a stomach ache, and when he was in the tub, we found the hives had returned on his lower back, legs, and arms. So I gave him a Claritin. And wondered if he over did it with the running this morning. When he starts something, he always goes full board.

Sunday morning the hives were mostly gone, but his throat hurt. His tonsils were enlarged, it was all red and he was draining mucus like crazy. (Gross, I know. Sorry.) I knew it was strep again. But I didn't take him in. Cody agreed to wait until Tuesday when we could talk to his doctor who knows what's going on and get the meds then, rather then take ANOTHER strep culture and take the chance of it showing negative. Cody felt somewhat better by that afternoon, was OK on Memorial Day, and went to school today. I know he has strep, but apparently he's had it for three months now and has been around everyone without getting them sick, so ya, I sent him to school.

I called and left a message with the doc's nurse to have him call me when he got off tonight. Which he did. I love that the doctor personally calls me and I can actually get a straight answer from him instead of beating around the bush with nurses. It's SO nice!!

He again said Cody's blood work all looked really good. In fact, it showed his levels like inflammation and such were lower then last year's tests. The Epstein Bar test was negative. And the only thing that showed up was he'd had a recent strep infection. I asked how recent the test would mean, and he said, "Oh, about two or three months ago."


Cody's pediatrician agreed back In February that it was weird it was negative when he took it. He, too, thought it was back. Especially when he kept having reoccurring hives and foot pain. That's why he started having me keep the daily journal on Cody. But the other pediatrician I had to take Cody into for a strep test with when our doc was out, saw that we'd just come in for the test and it had shown negative then, too, and when another one showed negative, she acted like it was all in my head. Makes me want to go back and say, "See, it wasn't all in my head! I know my kid, and knew he had it!"

Sorry, just needed to vent. This uncertainty has been building for months.

Anyways, so I then told the doctor how Cody wasn't feeling good Saturday, and by that night his hives were back, swollen  red throat by Sunday, and wasn't feeling good again. He said he'd call in antibiotics, and to keep up the asthma treatments for four more weeks. But he also wanted us to take Cody to see a Rheumatologist. He said it's weird how he keeps getting the hives so often and his feet hurting. He said this is more of an auto immune disorder and wants this kind of a specialist to take a look at Cody, and then to let him know what we find out. I appreciated his honesty and his concern for Cody, but hearing that made me sick. I worry that Cody has rheumatoid arthritis. I've honestly worried about this since last year when it was first mentioned as an explanation of why Cody's feet hurt and he couldn't get rid of the strep. I'm hoping that this doctor will just say; 'Oh we just need to take Cody's tonsils out and then he'll be just fine'. But I don't think it's going to be that easy.

I talked with Cody about this after I hung up with the doctor. He took it well. He said he's not scared at all.

I'm ready to bawl.

I wish I had the strength that Cody has. He's praying that they can just take his tonsils out and it will solve everything. And so that he can eat as much ice cream and Popsicles as he wants. Ha ha! He makes me smile.

And so, here's the plan. Start Cody on antibiotics tomorrow and continue his asthma treatments for another four weeks. Wait for the Rheumatologist's office to call to schedule yet another doctor's appointment. And try to live normal so that Cody doesn't see how worried I am becoming.

I love that kid.

(Here's a little FYI... we got the bill for Cody's blood work. They ran fourteen different tests. The bill was for $1016.00. Holy cow! Thank goodness we have good insurance for the boys right now. Another blessing in disguise.)