Photos

Yellowstone

When I was in junior high, we ran the mile at the beginning & the end of the year, & since our grade was based on how much we improved during the year, I always walked it at the start of the year.  My dad saw me walking it one year, & I have never lived it down.  PE was never a subject where I excelled, so it was quite funny when my 1st long-term subbing job was  as a PE teacher!

Our family visited Yellowstone this weekend.  Given my history, I never thought I’d say this, but as my husband pushed me around, I got so jealous of the exercise his body got!  I’ll admit that the reason I first thought it, was because he loses so many calories that he can actually eat (I have to eat like a bird, since I don’t burn many calories…)  But then I realized that I actually miss the feeling of tiring my body, & getting sore muscles…but before I could have a “pity party”, I remembered that I found a  therapy in Nov. 2013

that does make me feel tired & sore…horse therapy, which started up again last week, & has left me so exhausted that  I can barely move for a few hours afterwards, & sore for days!  But it makes me so happy!  J

It was beautiful in Yellowstone, & we saw a lot of geysers, but I did not see even 1 animal, unless u count what I saw when we went to Bear World in Rexburg, Idaho! (Having double vision does not help me focus quick enough to see anything that is moving).  My daughter, Jessica, made this video after our trip to Yellowstone National Park  (any animals you see are from Bear World, in Idaho, which was the coolest part of our trip—the girls  got to bottle feed baby cub bears!): https://youtu.be/Tr9cgyWlcOo

 

“I am freakin old!”

I recently ran across this video that shares my religious beliefs, & I thought was neat, & wanted to share:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5xnJU0-N58

It occurred to me that things I’d normally blog about, I have written to my son on his mission instead, so I need to “catch u up.”  For instance, I never mentioned a big milestone: that I got a PHONE!  Yes, u read that correct: I got a PHONE!  An iPhone to be exact…it’s pretty cool!  My eyes still have double vision, but I assume the eye muscles have gotten stronger so my eyes line up better & I can read smaller font…Pretty cool!  I never thought I’d be able to see or speak well enough to have a PHONE!

My phone is really more for texting, but I can do phone calls (preferably Facetime, so u can see my mouth, but I have done a few calls on speakerphone!).  I can type on it, but it’s tough.  So, it’s synced w/my iPad, where I can respond to texts.

The hardest part is hearing it ring, & NOT ignoring it, because ever since 2004, I have been ignoring phone calls!  The 2nd hardest part is finding it in my wheelchair bag!  (My phone is not big & easy to find, like my iPad!  & my wheelchair bag has gotten bigger, so I’m like an old lady frantically feeling around my bag/purse, for my phone!)

Anyway,this last week, it suddenly became tough to read my texts—whether it was on my iphone or my ipad…so I went to the eye doctor, & I am officially old: I need bifocals…My shirt today agrees: instead of reading, “I am freakin cold”, it reads, “I am freakin old!”

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is a bit different for me, as I usually have people feeding me anyway!

 

I keep being asked about what my favorite thing about my new home is…the thing that is my favorite changes from week to week, but what doesn’t change, is how it has increased my independence.  When we moved, a big reason was to make our home more accessible, cuz I’d “outgrown” our old home, & I was  banging into walls & things, as I tried to do more.  So our new home has wider spaces & hallways, & bigger & more open rooms—for example, I can TURN in our pantry!  Other ways I have discovered increased independence:

  • Drawers have been used a lot in my craft room, so I can do many things on my own in there now!
  • We have a “smart home”, so I can use my iPad to turn lights on/off, a TV on/off, regulate a thermostat if needed, see who’s at my front door & see in other places in my home, turn on music in rooms, etc.  I can even call people by name to certain rooms in our home!  While this is all great, what makes it even better is how this aids me as a mother—I can turn things down or off if my kids are being “kids,” I can turn off all the lights in our home if Mark is gone…& best of all, everything can be done from the comfort of my bed!
  • I love the kitchen because I can do SOOO much more in there now!  In fact, I just want to share that lately, I have fed myself 2 out of 3 meals!  It is so cool to feel hungry, & be able to go get myself food!  (That can be a good or a bad thing!)  I will share pictures of these 3 things that have made such a difference:
    • The sink—the spout is on the side, & it is touch-sensative, so I can finally wash my hands & some dishes (I actually like washing dishes, & since my kids think it’s gross to clean my cup out from my green smoothies, they are probably glad that I can do it now!)
    • The microwave—we have one down low, with a drawer, so I can do it– & I confess that at times I will cook popcorn in it, just cuz I can!
    • The fridge—it has a door I can use, but the best part is this has a drawer I can access, with things like fruit, veggies, hummus, babaganush,meals I can heat up, or eat cold…

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I just want to brag!

I know it’s been awhile, but I just want to brag!  Wednesday, April 27, I got myself dinner…Now, I have gotten myself some “easy” meals, but this was not just any old dinner: I put leftover burger & fries on a plate, reheated it, & gave myself a bib.  J  I love how much more independent this house allows me to be!  (More on that later!)

Concerning my kids (u may be aware of some of this, if u follow me on Facebook &/or Instagram):

Zach opened his mission call 3/31. He leaves June 1 to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will serve for 2 years in San Diego, CA mission, ASL speaking (the letter said “u will prepare to teach the gospel in ASL” ).  In my opinion, Zach has been preparing for his mission since he was 6 years old!

Saturday, April 23, my son, Zach, came home from college (BYU), & as he unpacked, I sat in his room, & held a CONVERSATION with him!  I’ve held conversations with family & friends just sitting by me, staring at my mouth, but he was able to walk around & unpack!  I’m sure it’s not all me… In fact, I KNOW it’s not!

My youngest daughter, Sophie, competed against several middle & high school show choirs, swing, & jazz choirs in a Show Choir competition on April 1st, w/ her amazing group, the Ringtones, last   They won best vocals & grand champs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-oSBMP-Zy4

This group of girls is so motivated!  Around December. They started hanging out here, & learning songs just for fun. In February, the choir & voice teachers heard them, & got involved, realizing something could happen, & since the school had no show/swing choir, they entered this last competition as the LTMS swing choir.

I know they have practiced hard!  It was good to see the “fruit of their labors”!  & I can’t believe these girls are in 8th grade, & just started seriously practicing a month ago!  They usually practice here, & I don’t get tired of hearing them!

As for my oldest daughter, Jessie, is now 16.  She has been driving for a while (she had a hardship license–since I’m disabled, but I think the license was more of a hardship for us, cuz it rarely helped us!), &  she can now date (heaven help us)!  In fact, this weekend, she is going to “Mormon Prom.”  Last year was the 1st time I got to check it  out, & it was amazing to see EVERY girl wearing a modest prom dress!  It gave a different feel to the evening that was so wonderful!  I am glad my daughter can attend such a great event!

Also, since Mark & I have been so focused on Zach’s mission call, & Sophie’s choir competition, my other daughter, Jessica, took it into her own hands to do April Fools on us this year!  I thought u’d enjoy seeing what she did…

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JENNY’S STORY

    “WILL YOUR STORY AMOUNT TO THE NATURE OF STORIES & EMBRACE THE FACT THAT SHARING THE SAD ONES CAN SOMETIMES MAKE THEM HAPPY?” BY ABED NADIR FROM COMMUNITY

PRE-STROKE, A FRIEND SHOWED ME SOME JOKE ON THE BLUE COLLAR CO. DVD SHE HAD JUST BOUGHT, SO I KNEW I LIKED IT. I FINALLY TIVOED & SAW THE WHOLE THING.. I DON’T REMEMBER WHAT PART SHE SHOWED ME, BUT WHEN I SAW IT THIS TIME, I WAS LAUGHING HARD, UNTIL THE END, WHEN JEFF FOXWORTHY WAS TELLING ABOUT A GUY’S MOM, WHO HAD A STROKE…HE STARTED SAYING ALL THIS BAD STUFF (LIKE SHE CAN’T MOVE AA SIDE OF HER BODY & CAN’T TALK)–HE BASICALLY DESCRIBED ME–& THE PUNCHLINE WAS, “I’M KIDDING…SHE’S DEAD.”

NOW, I LAUGH ALL THE TIME WHEN FAMILY GUY DOES HANDICAPPED JOKES, BUT THIS WAS A BIT TOO PERSONAL…

SOMEONE IN MY YAHOO STROKE GROUP POINTED OUT THAT “AT TIMES, RECOVERY MAY SEEM LIKE IT’S NOT HAPPENING BUT IT IS. IT CAN’T BE MEASURED IN WEEKS OR MONTHS BUT YEARS.”

I REALIZE THIS, SO I CELEBRATE EVERY LITTLE THING…OTHERWISE, IT CAN BE DEPRESSING TO WATCH, SINCE IT JUST PROVES HOW FAR I STILL NEED 2 GO! BUT I REMEMBER HOW GRATEFUL I AM 2 BE ALIVE, SO I CAN RECOVER ANYTHING AT ALL—SOME ARE NOT AS FORTUNATE!

LUCKILY, MY HUSBAND VIDEO-TAPED ME DURING THE 1ST YEAR, THEN MADE A MOVIE. IT SHOWS MY PROGRESSION DURING THE 1ST 9 MONTHS, & EVEN NOW, I REFER 2 IT, SO I CAN REALLY C HOW FAR I’VE COME.

IN DEC. 2011, I WAS HELPING SOPH DO A BOOK REPORT, & HAD READ THE CHILDREN’S NOVEL IN PREPERATION…IT WAS CALLED “HOW TO STEAL A DOG.” THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE BOOK WAS VERY UPSET ABOUT HER LIFE: HER DAD LEFT, & HER, HER BROTHER, & HER MOM WERE NOW LIVING IN THEIR CAR. EVENTUALLY, THEY “UPGRADED” 2 A RUN-DOWN SHACK. NEEDLESS 2 SAY, THE LITTLE GIRL WAS VERY DEPRESSED & COULDN’T SEE A WORSE LOT IN LIFE.

IN 2004, BEING CONFINED 2 MY BED WAS AS APPEALING AS LIVING OUT OF A CAR WAS 4 THE GIRL IN THE BOOK. I’VE NOW “UPGRADED,” AND SOME CONSIDER ME LIKE A QUAD. IN A SENSE, I AM IN THE EQUIVALENT TO THE RUN-DOWN SHACK I GUESS THAT SHOULD DEPRESS ME, BUT I JUST SEE A “HOUSE” (AT LEAST THERE’S A ROOF OVER MY HEAD!), & AM GRATEFUL 4 WHAT I HAVE. SURE, IT’S NOT PERFECT, BUT I MANAGE QUITE WELL! & I CAN’T RECALL WHERE I HEARD THIS, OR WHO SAID IT, BUT “The beauty of it, is not knowing what comes next.”

IN OCT. 2007, I “SPOKE” AT AN INTERNATIONAL DOCTOR’S CONFERENCE, AFTER THEY SHOWED THE BELOW VIDEO. THE DOCTOR’S ASKED 4 A COPY OF THE VIDEO, & I WAS SUPPOSED 2 PUT IT ON YOU-TUBE (I FIGURE IT WAS REQUESTED 4 A SIMILAR REASON TO SOMETHING LIKE A QUOTE IN THE BOOK: “Sometimes the trail you leave behind you is more important than the path ahead of you.” By Mookie, from How to Steal a Dog), BUT I JUST FIGURED OUT HOW 2 PUT THE VIDEO ON YOU-TUBE (IT’S CALLED “JENNY’S STORY”)…HOPE I’M NOT TOO LATE (LOL) & HOPE I DID IT RIGHT SO IT CAN STAY, BUT I DON’T KNOW IF IT’LL STAY THERE, SO ENJOY IT WHILE U CAN!