Saturday, September 24, 2016

One year.
One year ago today (Sept. 24th), our lives forever changed. One year ago Jared's tumor was discovered and he was rushed into emergency surgery to save his life from a tumor that completely blocked his small intestine. A desmoid tumor that is still in him because of the location and the risks of bleeding out in order to remove it. It's been one year of recoveries from major surgery to redirect his intestines around the tumor, sepsis, infection after infection inside the tumor because of the biopsies and the "communication" between the tumor and his colon due to the fistula connecting it, 18 days in the hospital the first month, biopsies, 2 PICC lines, chemo pill for six months, tumor growing, 28 radiation treatments, and now, one year later, bleeding internally from the radiation. Since August 18th, he's spent 14 days in the hospital with bleeding, 8 blood transfusions, and is now starting one month of feedings through IV only to hopefully stop the bleeding once and for all by giving his intestines a rest. On this year mark, we are still in the hospital. It's been a long year, yet it's been a super crazy, fast whirlwind at the same time.
But the blessings we have seen, the prayers we have felt that have lifted us in ways we cannot explain, our testimonies that have grown, and the closeness we have felt as our little family has gone through this is something we could not have learned in any other way. I know God is mindful of us. He has a plan. It is not an easy plan, but it will bring us back to Him if we take these trials and do our best with them. When we face these trials with faith and hope and still look for the good in life, He makes up the difference. He carries us. I am so thankful to all of you who have prayed and fasted for Jared and for our family. These prayers do not go unnoticed. We have felt them everyday since this whole thing started September 24, 2015 at 12:25 p.m.. And thank you for the countless ways you have served us. We pray for you all to be as blessed as we have felt.
Now on to year two. May it bring a better year for Jared with good health and strength.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hunter: "Mom, where's your impendix?"
Me: (chuckling) "Do you mean your appendix?"
Hunter: "Ya."
Me: "Do you have pains? Show me where first and I'll tell you."
He points to the very front of his belly and then tells me it started right after I made him eat some soup he hates.
I showed him where his appendix is and told him he should be ok and to take it easy.

I love it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cody: "I'm lucky."
Me: "Why?"
Cody: "Because with how old you are, you are still nice. Old people are usually mean, but you are still nice."
Me (laughing!): "Ha ha! Well, thanks Cody!"

He always cracks me up!
He has been the sweetest kid to me on my birthday this year. He text me happy birthday right at 6:30 this morning when his alarm went off. Then more through the day. Lots of hugs later on and then a sweet, thoughtful present from him - 90 tulip bulbs and mint truffles from Costco. My favorite!!
Love that kid!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cody Caught the Bug, Too

Cody was asked to bring a story about one of his ancestors for Sunday School today. I gave him my book that Mom and Uncle Ron put together and he found an ancestor he wanted to talk on - Aunt Mame. After class he told me he has to teach the lesson on how to do family history next week. I asked him if he knows how and he said no but that they gave him a couple websites to look up. After church he told me he created an account on one of the websites. He then told me how much he really likes family history and wants to start doing it.


He was so sincere. He said again he really likes it. I told him there's a special feeling with family history and he said he knows, he can feel it, too.

The Spirit of Elijah.

I love it!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

He Caught the Bug!

Hunter: "We learned about the pioneers and heard some pioneer stories in primary today. I want to learn more pioneer stories and about our ancestors. It's pretty cool!"

Me: "That's awesome! I love the pioneers. They have a special place in my heart. I love learning about them. I have a book that Grandma Kenison and my Uncle Ron put together of some of our ancestors. You can look at it and learn about them. There's some stories in there."

Hunter: "No, Mom, there's a website that you go on. It's something Jesus. I can't remember the website name. But it tells you all about our ancestors and stories. We are related Joseph Smith, but..."

Me: "Brigham Young?"

Hunter: "Yes! We are related to Brigham Young."

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that Hunter has caught the bug. I love family history and learning about our ancestors and where we come from. I am SO excited he wants to learn more about them.

Guess I need to check if we are related to Brigham Young now. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Planting Flowers

Hunter has been off track now for a week and a half. On days that I work, he goes to school with me and works all day in the library. The librarians absolutely love him and he is a great help to them. He knows how to check in and out books, restock shelves, aid in putting up new bulletin boards, and has helped rearrange shelves and deep clean the library. He loves being there and begs to go in even on my days off.

So naturally, when I have Wednesdays and Thursdays off, you can imagine how bored he gets being the only kid home. Today seemed to drag for Hunt. We ran a few errands which bored him the whole time, and once we got home, he sat in front of the tv because he couldn't think of anything else to do.

I somehow talked him into planting flowers with me. We had ran to Shopko and bought some flowers with a good coupon I had, and now we need to get them into the ground. It took some coaxing, but he finally came out. His job was to dig the whole the flowers were to be planted in. He chose that job and ended up having some fun doing it. We had planted about 3-4 different flowers when he started talking about the dead people underneath. I thought he was asking if there were dead people buried here, but he quickly explained that every time we planted a flower, it was for the dead person they had just buried. Apparently we were planting a cemetery, Ha ha!

Oh, this kid has quite the imagination!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Our Spiritual Giant

Cody said our prayer tonight before bed. In it he said...

"Thank you for letting us live in the country where we can study this religion and act upon it."

Cody is such a spiritual giant. He always has been. From the time he learned how to pray, he wanted to always say them without help. I remember when he was about two, I was laying in bed next to him as he said his prayer before bed all by himself. I remember thinking, 'He could be our next prophet.' He is very in tune to the spirit. I love that about him. He is such a good kid.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Clever Hunter

Hunter received his Arrow of Light tonight, and because of it, I gave him a liter of Coke. He was so excited!

Being the youngest, he knows his brothers will take what is rightfully his, so he has to get clever. As he was getting ready for bed, I looked over to see Hunter ripping the wrapper off his Coke and writing the words 'Hunter's Oil' and then drew a poison sign on it. Ha ha!

This kid is always coming up with some new clever idea.

I love it!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

I love listening to Hunter sing in the shower. It has to be one of my favorite things!

He doesn't know we can hear him, which makes it even better. He sings everything from Maroon 5, to Katy Perry, to Meghan Trainor. You'll know what his favorite songs are or the ones he's listened to today because those are the ones he sings. And you know what? He's really good!! I remember when he was about 4 years old. I brought him along to go Visiting Teaching with me. As we walked into a particular house, Hunter was singing. The lady stopped us in our tracks and listened to Hunter. She said, 'He is really good! And, he has a perfect pitch!' That was the first time I realized just how good he was.

Hunter loves music. He loves to sing, he loves the beat, and he loves to dance. He reminds me so much of my brother, John. John taught himself to play the piano and guitar. He's been in a couple of bands and has written his own music before. I remember when Uncle Ron took Jamie, John and I to Zion's National Park. It was the August before I got married, so Jamie was about 16 and John was about 12. We saw this cool movie while we were down there about elephants. About 3 months after our trip, John sat down at the piano and played the song from that movie. That's when we realized John had a special gift.

Makes me wonder how music will play a part in Hunter's life. He and John are SO much alike!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

You know you are loved when you find your 10-year-old in the kitchen making pudding for you and your husband to take with you to the doctor the next day for lunch. Hunter made us chocolate pudding and was hand beating it together with an egg whisk. Not a normal round whisk, but an egg whisk with only 4 metal loops that break up the yolks and whip the eggs together with. It's really only good for eggs or gravy, but it was the cutest thing seeing Hunter standing there mixing it up in a huge white bowl; a bowl big enough to hold 8 times the amount of pudding he was making. :)

He asked what else we wanted for lunch tomorrow so he could pack it up for us. My heart melted. It was hard telling him that we'd probably be home for lunch so he didn't need to pack anything. It didn't bother him. He just put some aluminum foil over the pudding, stuck it in the fridge, and went on his way, proud that he could help make his dad something for lunch when he knows we are meeting with the doc about the chemo plan he is now looking at.

Later on I snuck the bowl of pudding out of the fridge and put it into a smaller bowl so I had more room to put something else in there. As I was scooping it out of the big white bowl, I noticed it wasn't quite all the way mixed. Again, my heart melted for that cute boy I get to call my son. So I stirred it up a little more, poured it into another dish, and had a taste, or two, or three, of his yummy pudding. I love when he does this stuff for us. He sure feels big when he makes his pudding. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Mess-Up

We've started reading the Book of Mormon with our boys this year. Each night we try to read a chapter. Everyone takes turns reading. Tonight it was Cody's turn. It didn't exactly start out as reverent as you might want it to go, and things quickly escalated. He began reading like he was on stage and then the mess-up came.

We were reading in 1 Nephi 13:10 "And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethern."

That's how it's supposed to read.

Cody read: "And it came to pass that I looked and beheld any waters; and they divided the genitals ..."

Oh my, you should have heard the laughter come out of that one! We all about died! And then it escalated even more. Cody began switching up his accents as he read, with laughter from the peanut gallery following every word he emphasized in some weird accent. It wasn't the most reverent reading, that's for sure, but it was fun and memorable.

I love these crazy, wild boys of ours.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I realized something tonight. I do the arthritic hand rub I would always see my dad do. The one where you rub one hand over the other in a sideways motion over the knuckles. I've been doing this for a few years now, but much more than I care to admit this year. And once the rub is done, fingers are massaged and then kind of held by the other hand all the while hoping this will somehow take the pain away.

The year I turned 30, I began noticing the arthritis had started in my hands. First it started in my pinky fingers, then almost year by year, it crept through the rest of the fingers; the ring finger being next and so on. My grip has lessened and I've noticed I drop a lot more things this year. My hands swell, and my knuckles are definitely getting bigger. My hands look like old lady's hands already with this and the lovely dry skin I have. The arthritis is prevalent throughout all the knuckles, and now, my middle finger and pointer finger will feel like they are trying to curve over at times; almost like they are trying to twist right around. I know what this is. Or so I feel like I do. Rheumatoid arthritis. My dad's side of the family has it terribly in their hands. My grandma and almost all her sisters had the crippling type that left big knuckles and their fingers twisted in ways you never want to see fingers go; almost a wave like look to them like the ocean had caused them to curve over. When I think of the Thackers side (my Grandma Kenison's side), their hands are one of the things that I remember most. My mom's side has rheumatoid arthritis as well, but not as crippling as my dad's.

I remember about 4-5 years back. Jim and my dad stopped by for a minute in Jim's truck. It was spring time and warm enough that we only had to wear jackets at night. I walked out to the truck to say hi to dad and I saw him rubbing his hands. He'd said he was having a lot of trouble with them with lots of pain and swelling. I looked down at his hands and was shocked at how swollen they were. It was like he was wearing a fat suit that included his hands. They were so puffy, it almost looked fake. He could barely make half a fist. He didn't know why they all of a sudden became so bad, but I could tell it was miserable for him. It was hard for him to work and use the tools he needed to to repair the machines. I asked him to go to the doctor and he said he had decided he needed to. Aunt Kathy was on a trial pill that was working well for her. She wanted dad to get on it, but he never did. He ended up taking some kind of inflammation reducer and it did help. His swelling went way down and he could work without hurting as much. Dad became my arthritis buddy. I've had arthritis in my knees since I was a teenager. In fact, when I had a surgery at 17, the doc said he had "cleaned up" the arthritis, so who knows when I actually started to get it. Dad and I would compare pains and ask how the other one was doing. We'd predict storms coming and I tell you what.... we were right. Dad always knew what to say to comfort me when we'd take about arthritis and I'd tell him how it was moving in on me more. I miss that. I miss how strong he was and would work through the pain no matter what. He always inspired me and continues to, to just keep going. He was the one who told me why I couldn't make fists in the morning. I'd wake up and it was like my hands wouldn't work for a bit after I'd wake up. This started in my early 20's, but I didn't say anything to anyone except Jared. They were so weak, I could barely hold on to or pick up things. It was the arthritis. Dad's did the same thing. Aunt Kathy told me at the luncheon after dad's funeral that she would be my new arthritis buddy. Sadly, I know Aunt Kathy knows what arthritis pain is like, too. We Kenison's are lucky enough to be plagued with this, I guess.

It just hit me as I was doing "the rub", how for years I'd see my dad do the same thing. I'd see him rub his knuckles as he was sitting in his chair watching tv. I see him do the rub as he was working and would take a break as he'd let his hands rest. I'd see it as I was cutting his hair. He always seemed to be rubbing his hands. Somehow it makes it feel like there's one small thing we can do to relieve the pain, when honestly, there is absolutely nothing they can do for it other than mask the pain somewhat with a pill. It doesn't take the crippling part away, however.

I subconsciously have been doing this for a few years now, and tonight I realized another connection I have with my dad. The arthritic rub.

I miss my arthritis buddy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hunter was looking through some of my keepsakes from my childhood/teenage years. After finding something he really liked, the tiny porcelain kitty, he came to me and asked...

"Mom, when you die, can I have this?"

I just looked at him and said, "Thanks Hunter."

He laughed and said, "Well, can I just have this someday?"

As the boys were going to bed tonight, I overheard Hunter tell T.J. and Cody,

"When mom dies, I'm getting her little kitty."

Cody, to my defense, says, "Um, can we not discuss this? It's weird. It's weird to think about our parents dying someday."

Goodness, I think Hunter really wants that little cat. Maybe I should just give it to him before he puts a pox on me. Ha ha!
Hunter: "Mom? What's pooberty?"
Me: "Um, why?"
Hunter: "Cause I want to know so I know what they're talking about on (the movie) Inside Out."

Ha ha! Oh that kid!