August 2017



First Day of School?? *?? Driver’s License!?? *?? 5 Zs over for the day?? *?? Lake Saguaro Day?? *?? Grammy time?? *?? Jim Cardiologist?? *?? ??Gynamstics?? *?? Archery?? *?? Texas Roadhouse for Dusty’s Birthday *?? Bartlett Lake day?? *



Dr. Nowlen called about Tori’s heart monitor and said that all looked good.?? Out of the 11 or so times she reported, he didn’t think anything looked unusual.?? He did note that her heart did something???maybe skip a beat???.I didn’t really catch that???sometimes but he isn’t at all concerned.?? He wants her to wear a heart monitor for one day only next July so I made a note to schedule that appointment in April of 2018.?? He just wants to make sure nothing has changed.



Ty slapped Tori on the stomach for who knows what reason.?? She is crying.?? Troy then comes in to the room and says, “Anyone who hurts Tori I punch!”?? Then he says “I’m sorry Tori” and tries to comfort her.?? Meanwhile his hair is a mess and he has cookie butter all over his face.?? Big words from such an adorable little guy.

Things I overhear:

Troy:?? Caterpillars have EARS??? I didn’t know that!



First day of school was earlier this year – August 7th.?? Tanner is a junior, Ty an eighth grader, Tori a fourth grader and Troy a first grader.


Homeschooling giggles…

I woke up the kids for their first official day of school. Tori says, “Mom can we get ready for school?”


“Troy! Let’s go put on our jammas.”

LOL. They both slept in clothes last night. Just that peaceful, easy feelin’ right? Praying the rest of this day feels just that relaxed.


Troy:?? Mom!?? You’re like my teacher!



Got his driver’s license on Friday, August 11th!!!!?? He said the test was really easy.


His day with Kristi – they love to have their “own” day annually.


Went to cardiologist and Dr. took him off brilanta.?? All is well.


Monday, August 14th
Today was a crummy day.?? I woke up off kilter and then took Troy to the store (Fry’s at Dove Valley).?? When we were leaving he darted in front of me and I clipped him with the cart and he fell.?? He got up and complained that I hurt his legs but he didn’t cry.?? I took a time out to get after him for darting in front of the cart (this was not the first time I had to say on this trip).?? I picked him up, talked to him, and then showed him the scar on my ankle from when I got clipped by a shopping cart.?? I set him back down, headed for the exit and glanced over at him and my heart stopped.?? He was totally dysmorphic.?? He looked like a klingon from Start Trek and it all happened in what could have only been like five seconds. It was beyond bizarre.?? The incident that had happened a moment earlier with his fall didn’t even enter my mind.?? I was convinced he was having an allergic reaction to something in the store.?? I rushed to the pharmacy to see if I could get Benadryl and I felt a sense of panic rising because he looked SO wrong.?? But he was acting totally normal, said he was fine, said he was in no pain???.nothing. They advised I take him to the ER at HonorHealth Deer Valley because it was literally next door.?? I did that and made him sing the alphabet song to me in the car so that I could make sure his breathing was fine.?? They checked him out briefly and concluded that it must have been the fall because they didn’t see allergic reactions signs.?? They did a neuro check and he was, of course, charming all of them left and right.?? Then they sent us on our way and said I could ice it if he let me.?? I started to cry so many times when I looked at him today because he just doesn’t look like my boy and it has had me just freaked out and suffering from PTSD today.?? He is still not back to normal.?? He doesn’t look as bad but not good either.?? He is going to sleep in my room so I can check on him during the night.


One funny???at the hospital he wanted to hear his heartbeat.?? The Dr. listened first and was telling him all the places on his body where she could hear his heart.?? He had a funny look on his face and then told her, “I just have ONE heart???but it is a big heart.”

We both laughed and she said, “I bet that is true.”?? It is.


“Mom I am just fine!” – He keeps telling me.?? My sensitive little guy knows I have been anxious about him and is trying to help.
Tori made me laugh with all her observations today.?? She noted that I had a “cry voice” when I got home from the store.?? (I didn???t notice my voice sounded weird but she was right).?? She was also shaking after she saw Troy.?? Scared her good too.?? This evening we brought food to Grammy and she told me that we couldn’t leave until Sweetie’s sink was cleaned out and she showed me exactly how Sweetie does it.?? Then later she told me that if I was going to return Papa’s shirt (the one she had to borrow after spilling Grammy Rene’s caramel pie on her outfit) that I would have to put it up right.?? When I inquired she let me know that Sweetie color codes her closet.?? Who knew??? I called my mom, (who is camping in ShowLow at Fool’s Hollow) and she cracked up that Tori had taken note of those things.

Tuesday, August 29th

JESUS – you are the WONDER in the WILD.?? I love that line in one of my favorite songs of 2017 and boy was I singing it today.?? We had a bit of an epic adventure.?? I am normally a pretty cautious person by nature. I was raised by an adventurous, thrill seeking, extrovert though and that has shaped me more than my personality would otherwise indicate.?? Because I am a photographer and fall season is shortly upon us, I wanted to do some scouting today.?? I love the gorgeous AZ desert and I wanted to find some spots not too far from my home that would celebrate the beauty of our great landscape not far from the city lights.?? I packed up the kids, water, sunscreen, and Tanner packed his fishing pole and tackle (because…hello…scouting + adventures = fishing holes if one is crossing their fingers hard enough).?? So we head off into the wilds.?? It was pushing 110 degrees…in August…and I was scouting somewhat off the beaten path desert locations.?? We were a couple miles down a road remote enough that we had not seen a soul the entire time when…low and behold…and let’s all sing…”You grab a line, I’ll grab a pole and we’ll all go down to the crawdad hole…honey baby mine.”?? So we stopped.?? We pretty much had too.?? Tanner would have considered that a crime to press on.?? Troy was happily coloring in his five point harness carseat (because he is still too small for a booster) and Ty wanted to stay in the air conditioned truck with him.?? Tori, Tanner and I went down to the fishing hole (and yes…Tanner did spot some fish so we had to give it a few minutes).?? To shorten this, eventually Ty decides he wants to visit us and Troy doesn’t.?? I yell to Ty to leave the door open because my cautious nature was surfacing.?? My car was on.?? The a/c was on.?? All good.???? It shouldn’t automatically lock…but what if???????? And guess what??? That is exactly what happened.?? Ty forgot and shut the door.?? Ty walked away and seconds later the door locks.?? Ty yells down to me that the car locked and I felt hyperventilation coming on.?? Our hydration, sunblock, cell phone, and MY YOUNGEST child were locked in the car.?? You would think at six Troy could escape this situation but I knew he couldn’t.?? The five point harness on his carseat is so secure that we always have to get him in and out of it.?? I spent the next 10 minutes trying my best to get him to at least unclasp the top strap (because he couldn’t reach the door lock without unlatching it and the windows where child safety locked).?? He tried and tried but could not get it undone.?? Tori is sobbing beside me and I was trying to be calm in evaluating our situation but I knew we were in a real pickle because I had no way to get help and no one had come down the dirt road.?? After probably 10 minutes of deliberating and working with Troy, I knew I was at a decision point of having to attempt rocking a window.?? I realize that to my husband, father, or brothers…this wouldn’t seem like an emergency…just an unfortunate expense.?? For me though…I didn’t know the proper method for rocking the window without injury to myself or Troy so I was on the verge of panic.?? (It has since been explained to me via Dusty and Daniel how I could have rocked the window).?? So before I started my attempts (which would have been the wrong route by the way), I gathered the kids together, we all held hands and we started praying.?? We asked Jesus to provide a solution for us.?? I was so scared to rock the window because Tanner had me thinking that I may not be able to break it and what if I cut my arm, or an artery, or the rock or glass hit Troy????????? What if???I couldn’t break it?????!!!!


About 10 seconds after we said amen, I hear Tori yell, “Troy got it!!!!!?? He got the top harness undone!”?? And just like that he popped the door open with a smile on his face.?? And then he let me know that he should be called a hero now because hero’s save people and he saved us.?? We then had a talk about how Jesus saved us and helped Troy.?? Troy said, “I was not scared.?? I have the Loord and the Loord is in my heart.”


So see???Jesus was the wonder in our wild today?

(Update???Troy and Ty are both saying the wind shut the door!)

Feb 2017


Jim’s Stress Test * Tori’s 9th Birthday and Superbowl Party * Gymnastics * Soccer * Archery * Art * Colonoscopy and Endoscopy *

Troy this week was listening to Pharrell’s “Happy” in the car and said, “This is my jam!” LOL

Troy: Daddy what does “literally” mean??? Jim launches into this long explanation (which wasn’t easy to explain!)
Troy: So literally is not right!
Jim: What do you mean?
Troy: You can’t just drop trash.?? LOL. Oooohhhhhhh littering!!!!! 🙂

It is so hard to discipline Troy because he is so darn cute. The cutest 5 year old ever. When I talk to him about anything he did wrong, he is super sweet and submissive. He ducks his chin down and looks at me with these big baby browns over the rim of his glasses. He says, “Ya” to everything I say (as in “ya I did that”) and then he will say “I am sorry. Will you forgive me?” It is the sweetest ever. Then he walks out with his head hanging low. I gotta admit, I somewhat doubt the sincerity of his show because it is just TOOOOOOO good. LOL

A couple of weeks ago Troy hit his head on something in the front room. In the kitchen:

Troy: Mom I hit my head and I fink I broke my brain!
Me: Oh no! I wonder if you can still think?
Troy: I am finking???.I am finking???I am finking about when I was younger???.I CAN FINK! I didn’t break it!!

Thurs, Feb 23rd
Skipped archery and went to the Dr with Troy. At about 3:00 AM he went to the bathroom in my bathroom. Of course he made a lot of noise and left the light on thus waking me up. He has been using my bathroom because??every other toilet has been making odd noises and he is still terrified of flooding. LOL. Anyhow, just a few minutes later he was back going again. This happened 3 or 4 times. I finally moved his bed into my room because I noticed that he kept spitting into a bowl as well (for well over an hour). He had wet his bed again (2nd time this week) and said he was spitting because he was thirsty. I assumed he was feeling nauseous and thought maybe he had the flu. I rubbed his back until he settled enough to fall back to sleep. I didn’t let him eat this morning and took him in to see Amy Machelli (spelling) at Pediatrix. She did a urine test and a glucose test. The good news was – no sign of diabetes. No keytones being spilled in urine and his glucose test was in the low 90’s (90 or 96 I forget which). BUT he did have blood in his urine though I think she said no white blood cells. She talked to Dr. Mitra and Dr. Mitra told her that sometimes UTIs are present with no white blood cells and that sometimes boys will frequently urinate with UTIs so they decided to treat him for a UTI with antibiotics until they get the culture back. She wants to keep looking into it if the culture comes back clear. So???glad I went. I laid awake for hours worrying about diabetes so at least I can check that off my list. He was in the 9th percentile for weight and the 4th for height. Tiny but on the curve so fine. 41.3 inches tall and 37 pounds. BMI was 47% which is great. He was pretty upset with that finger prick (like hysterical!) So like any good mom, I interviewed him after the Dr left the room on video. There is about 3 minutes of cell phone video goodness. Too funny. He talks about how he can no longer use his hand to eat now or play with toys or anything!


Tue, Feb 28th
His blood culture came back negative so no UTI. I stopped the antibiotics. Dr. told me to take him to a urologist if the bed wetting and tummy pain continues. We shall see. He just got in trouble with me because I startled him when I walked into the bathroom and caught him going potty in the bathtub! His fear of flushing that toilet is just getting ridiculous. It makes me laugh though when you ask him if he did something and he doesn’t want to verbally say yes so he takes his hands and moves his jaw up and down making himself nod yes. LOL. He is truly adorable. It is SUPER hard for me to get upset with the kid because he melts me. I really have to try to look real serious because even when he is getting in trouble with me I am adoring him. His face has looked like a burn victim this winter so I keep have to use hydrocortisone on it. He has complained of itchiness on his back so much that I have been better about the neosporin daily excema cream and his back actually feels great. I probably already mentioned this but I am having to patch both eyes for 10 minutes a day now and he is going to be evaluated for surgery this summer.

Tue, Feb 28th
Tanner’s school day this Sophomore year has been LONG. Geometery takes him 3 to 4 hours a day and it is excruciating. I have not helped him with math this year. I think most students would just get through it and accept average or less than average scores. Not Tanner. It takes him that long because he is determined to get at least a B so he just works and works until he thinks he can get as close to 80 as he can. I am super proud of his diligence in this. What more could you ask for? I think next year will be a much easier year for him actually. He only has 29 lessons left in geometry and then he is technically done with high school math.

Tue, Feb 28th

He has been doing well – he is about 5″ 10 or more now. He is doing decently in school but 7th grade math has just gotten out of scope. Not because he can’t do it, because he can’t write it. It isn’t just the inability to handwrite because he uses a math pad. It is because he can’t type the formulas down in a spacial order that keeps him from confusion and then he ends up mixing himself up too much. I realized by doing math orally with him and having him talk me through what to write, that he actually DID know how to do the problems. This is not fun for me to realize that I will now have to do every math lesson and write for him but it is what it is. If I want to get us through high school math, this is what is required and it just is what it is. I don’t want to give up. I want him to earn his high school diploma so I will do what I have to do to accommodate what he needs. Having said that, I really really really need more hours in my day at this point.

Jim told me this morning that he found a compact of glitter makeup in the dryer with his work clothes. Now his work shirts sparkle! LOL She is getting good at putting her makeup on for playtime – super impressive.

Friday, Feb 24th
Going to do Tori’s 9 year old pictures this afternoon with Dusty out by lake pleasant.

Tue, Feb 28th
She has fallen in love with a YOUTUBE reality channel called Britaley. A family whose daughters are in gymnastics. I totally don’t get it but she can’t get enough of it. She has started saying “Tarter Sauce” as in “darn it” and it drives her brothers crazy. She got that off the show. She is still doing gymnastics in the house constantly. School wise she is doing well. Her reading is really improving as is her spelling. She struggles with math concepts but it doing pretty well with it overall. She loves IEW the most.

Jim’s cardio appointment was awesome. Dr. was AMAZED that Jim could do 12 minutes on the tread mill. They wanted him to get his heart rate up to 149 and then to hold it there for a minute or so. Dr. Tri said most people average no more than 8 minutes and that he personally only got to 10 minutes with a heart rate of 100 and he is thin, fit, healthy and no heart problems. He said that was like marathon runner length. Wow!!!!! Jim has been exercising but not excessively so this makes me wonder what he is capable of if he was even trying. Dr. said whatever is going on with Jim does not seem to be cardio related because everything looked SO good. He was super impressed and kept saying, “12 minutes! TWELVE minutes!!!!”

Tue, Feb 14th

Colonoscopy and Endoscopy day. They found no hiaetal hernia or duedenal ulcer this time. They did find gastritis. Testing for celiac and H. Pylori and I don’t know what else. No polyps or tumors – yay! 🙂 They had to do SIX ivs though! Or they tried six times. The first few the vein blew and then it infiltrated and was swelling my hand with liquid. That was painful. The anesthesiologist finally had to do it with an ultrasound machine. It took him two tries as well and went deep in the arm. The anethesia they gave me did not make me feel sick afterwards so I liked it but I was processing slowly and very emotional for the entire day until bed time.

Fri, Feb 24th
My lab work came in and it said that I have gastritis and tested negative for celiac and H. pylori. Not sure what to do at this point. I am definitely not as sick as I was last year but I do have a burning stomach off and on through the week – most days. Not as bad as last year but noticeable. I really need to get to the bottom of that.

Mon, Feb 20th
School and lots of chores. I love my life. Happy happy girl. Been listening to a lot of Hillsong lately and wow – it moves me. I purchased the Dirt and Grace album and it is my favorite ever. I think Oceans may be my very favorite worship song right now though. I also love Touch the Sky and Even When it Hurts, Say the Word and Broken Vessels. That is my list this week. I have such a need for worship. Every day. .

Andie Beloved {Phoenix Newborn Photography}

These are my cousins. ??Drew+Teagan+Ace+Andie…pure beauty inside and out. ?? I knew when I pressed the shutter, this would be a favorite image of mine. ??Big brother pointing at big sister…so precious. ??And of course with family there always tends to be an over share.

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I love brand new sibling images. ??Ace is almost 2 years old and he will be a great big brother.


The way they are looking at one another on that hand holding image just kills me. ??She was WIDE awake for sibling shots and I am glad because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss those two sweetly gazing at each other (and trust me, you can’t plan that with a newborn!)

I was pretty excited when I noticed farm land less than a block from their home. ??Ace’s hair is simply magnificent and I am thinking baby sister may get the same gift as well.

The spurs were Andie’s grandma’s when she was a child.



Love that gorgeous, dark hair. ??Such a little beauty.

Just want to smooch all over those dainty baby details. ?? Love you already Andie girl.

Jacob aka “Cub” One Year {Phoenix Baby Photography}

I can’t believe this little man is one year already! ?? We did newborn/one year tire pictures for big brother Caleb and thought it would be fun to try a different variation for baby brother “Cub”. ??I love it when a plan comes together.

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Love this baby boy…his big brother…this family. ??I love my job.