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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow Day!







The amount of snow that has fallen is incredible. The school district cancelled school yesterday. Unfortunate for the Christmas performances, parties and gifts to be enjoyed that day. But a fun day to play in the over two feet of snow. Here are some pictures. I decided to play too. The kids buried me in it. It has warmed up some and is starting to melt a bit. Maybe some will stick around for a white Christmas.



On a side note - Vaughn had his 6 month check up today. He is 14 pounds!! He gained 3 lbs in 2 months. Still need to feed and feed him more, but he's looking great! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday to Darin!!!



Today it is my wonderful husbands birthday!! We had fun singing to him in primary, eating a yummy meal and opening presents. Of course Myra blew out his candles and we had to relight them.


Darin - I hope you have had a wonderful birthday. I had fun at Desert Star (quite possibly the funniest ever!) with you last night, and eating out. My favorite part was spending time with you and talking. I love you very much!!
- Melissa

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dead on her Feet


Violet was listening to a story on tape on tape the other night. I guess she was tired. First she feel asleep on on her feet with her head on the chair cushion. When I went to take her picture, she kinda woke up a bit and then climbed up on the table. Personally, I would have chosen the couch, or maybe my bed as a new sleeping venue.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fasting


I know, you are shocked, a new post. You know how life gets. Vaughn is doing better. He is a much happier guy now. Seems like after about the 4 month mark, the colic gets better. He is on a bottle (sad for me) and also baby food and cereal. I was not giving him enough calories, so we needed to supplement. He then decided he pretty much just preferred the bottle, it fills his tummy up quicker. He loves to suck on his fingers and doesn't enjoy his pacifier anymore. He is growing and chunking up!! At his 4 month check up he was only 11 lbs. Not so goo. He had dropped from the 25th%tile to the 3rd%tile. Now he has been getting formula and cereal for over a month. He is still pretty pukey, but using the formula for spitty uppy babies seems to help. He does keep the "solid" food down better.


Myra has pretty much gotten all potty trained this past week. Mostly on her own. She decided she really wanted to, and did. She has a few accidents, but nothing too major. Usually she insists on changing her panties because there is a tiny little drop of pee. I haven't had to change a messy diaper on her for about a week. So nice. I'm glad I waited and didn't push her. By far the easiest kid to get using the potty so far!!

Today is fast Sunday. It was the first time in quite awhile that I have been able to fast. I really did not realize how much I missed it. 2009 was spent being pregnant off and on, so my fasting was rare and sporadic due to that. Then I was pregnant with Vaughn and nursing him, so that means no fasting. Since he doesn't want to nurse, I got to fast today. Wow. It generally isn't something that I look forward to. I thought about not doing it today, but it has been surprisingly easy, and wonderful. I was able to actually feel a closer connection to the spirit today, and just feel so much more at peace. Did I get to listen and pay attention more to the meeting, no. My kids were the same as usual, Primary was chaos while preparing for the sacrament program next week, but I felt great.

I haven't been getting more sleep than usual, or any other major change. It is a good feeling to be able to fast and have this closeness. I didn't realize it had been missing. I'm glad that is isn't missing anymore. Out of 123 months I have been married, the I have only been able to fast 19 of them. I just did the math. CRAZY!!~!! I am thankful to be able to enjoy these blessings now. I am thankful for the opportunity to gain a closeness to the spirit and help my testimony grow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canada/Seattle


(Cathleen, Melinda, Kay, Stephanie, Me, Aubrey & Are')
(Melinda & Amber)
(Me Pickin' the Boar's nose - yes my eyes are closed, again!)

I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Seattle and Canada in September. It was fun to visit places I have never been to before, and also to get away. I did have baby Vaughn with me. We had a good time. It was a fairly large group of women. Things went fairly smooth, no lost luggage or things like that. We flew to Seattle and then drove to Annacortes and took a ferry to Victoria, Canada. It was my first time in Canada.

(Aubrey, Callum, Stephanie, Are', Kay, Melinda, Cathleen & Amber)
We had a bit of a shock when we got to Canada and found that Priceline had booked us into a hotel connected to a strip club. Yep, a strip club. Luckily the only time strippers were actually spotted, they were fully clothed. Note to self, don't stay at the hotel in the future! There were a lot of cute shops and sights in Canada.
We were able to go to Butchart Gardens. Wow, that place is phenomenal. I don't have a wide knowledge of flowers.
(Melinda, Aubrey, Are', Kay, Me (Vaughn screaming)Cathleen & Stephanie)
My favorite things was the smell. So fragrant. The colors and variety, oh my gosh! I saw more flowers that day than I have probably seen in my entire life! It has an amazing story. There were a lot of tourists from other countries. It was funny to see people's reactions to babies. I had Vaughn and m y friend Aubrey had her little boy who is 2 weeks younger than Vaughn. You would think people had never seen an infant before. Such a novelty.
We also saw the Parliament building. Gorgeous! And went to Craigdarroch Castle. It is huge, and beautiful The wood work must have taken years and years! If you would like more information, go here. We enjoyed some interesting experiences being in another country. My favorite is when we went to Wal Mart. It was in a department store like setting. You parked in a parking garage and then went up an escalator to the second and third levels where the store was. Upon leaving Wal mart with your cart full of groceries, there was a devise in between the up and down escalator where you hooked the cart and sent it down to the garage level. I have pictures coming of that.
(Melinda Posing and Aubrey)
(Room in the Castle)
Seattle is a great city. Here we stayed in one of the oldest hotels, The Camlin. I fell in love with it immediately. The hotel is on the national registry of historic hotels. Next to each door was a framed box with the original Door knob and number. Since they have upgraded to key cards, the old door knobs were a little obs-elite, but so decorative and fancy. The electric blue sign is still lit every night. Such fun!
(Camlin Hotel)
In Seattle we went to Pike Place Market. Such a bustling place. Smells strongly of fish. There were HUGE bouquets of flowers that you could purchase for $5-$10. So beautiful! We ate yummy food at Ivars. I had clam chowder. We walked around everywhere in Seattle or took public transportation. I believe it was my first time on an actual city bus. There was a station convenient across the street from our hotel that went straight to the airport!
(Melinda, Are', Cathleen)
We took a Harbor Ferry tour where we learned a lot about the City, and saw many landmarks, including the space needle and Washington Mutual Tower and Smith Tower. It was a great way to see the skyline. We also learned about Seattle's underground. We took a tour of it and learned the history of Seattle. Basically through a series of events the town burnt and had to be rebuilt. The rebuilding made what was the second story of buildings the First story. Quite amazing. It was my favorite part of Seattle. I learned a ton and the guides were very amusing and even told a few tasteful jokes. One of which was just for our group (we were probably the only ones who got is) where the punch line was the so and so became the first Latter Day Saint in Seattle (They had done some thing saintly). We all laughed. My arms got buff on that tour because I carried Vaughn for 2 hours straight. I could feel it in my biceps.
(Stephanie, Kay, Me, Amber, Melinda, Cathleen & Are')
We came across the infamous wall of gum. It was vile and almost made me vomit. Multiple times. Ewwwww! Don't worry, there are lost more pictures on their way for your enjoyment. Some how Lucinda evaded them all so far! I also had a lot of fun playing a few games, visiting and relaxing. We probably walked 100 miles and ate lots of great food. Thank you for those of you on the trip who put up with the screamer (Vaughn didn't like the car or being in his car seat). Yeah for Girls weekends!!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Myra Turning Three - Reflections on Elaine



We are only three days from Myra Joanne Andrew's 3rd birthday. Third birthdays in our home are special for a very good reason. Whenever one of our children turn three years old we are reminded of our daughter, Elaine, who has yet to turn three in life; though she would be nine years old now if her life had not been cut short.

Elaine Ruth Andrew lived to be one day shy of her third birthday. We had already purchased gifts to give her. We had decorations ready. We were excited for her to be three years old. She was getting so big and so smart.

As any parent may do, we had a future in mind for Elaine. Her's, we thought, would inevitably be full of appointments with Cardiologists. Eventually she would need a heart transplant; the extra strain of being born without the Right Ventricle chamber would wear out the heart causing failure in her teenage years. After a heart transplant she would have to take medications every day to ensure the new heart would not be rejected. It is not the life you choose for your lovely little daughter; we loved her so much we excepted it without any hesitation.

Something went wrong with her little heart early that shattered all of the expectations we had for her life. After a particularly difficult bout with a cold she was left acting extremely tired and worn out. We took her to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where the doctors discovered that her heart was already in failure. At two and a half years old she was struggling to stay alive. A heart transplant was her only hope for survival.



She was in the hospital for five weeks waiting for a heart. That much time in heart failure was extremely trying on her little body. We did what we could to make things enjoyable for her. I would sing along with songs from "The Wiggles" and do the dances she used to do only a few months earlier. She smiled a tired smile for me and attempted to move with the music. She wanted to dance with me but couldn't.

She wanted to go home so badly. If you mentioned home she would cry. We put up a sign in her room to let the nurses know that talking about home made her sad.

Though her spirit was strong, her body was too worn out to go on any further with her. The doctors recognized that she didn't have much more time to live. I sat in a rocking chair holding Elaine while Melissa sat to our side holding Elain's hand. Her body died there in my arms, early in the morning, April 19th 2004.

After a long and tiresome struggle, instead of going back with us to our home in Orem she went back to her home in Heaven to be with friends and family there. We were so sad to see her leave us here on earth because we could not yet be with her where she was going.

Because of Elaine third birthdays are special for us in our family.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sept 11, 2010


They day turned out so fabulous. Thank you so much to all the amazing people who came and supported those born with CHD. It was a cold morning - tape wouldn't stick to metal...but we survived. The sun came out and warmed us all up. So much preparation for one exhilarating day. It was a great time to reunite with families I haven't seen in a long time, and to meet new faces, connect the dots a little with the names I know.
There is something so powerful about seeing such a mass of people, walking, talking and supporting one another. It sure is a sight I wish all could enjoy.

We decided to throw a silent auction into the mix this year. It was quite successful. I hope everyone is enjoying their fun winnings. We also had numerous prizes that we were able to give away. Thank you a thousand time to the people/companies who donated to make our event successful. To see a list, please go here.

We had a touching and wonderful Angel Ceremony. We were able to once again release butterflies in memory of those with CHD's who have passed on. Beautiful posters of those being remembered and beautiful family members in attendance to honor their loved one. Laurie Tye wrote this poem that was shared.

FLY BUTTERFLY FLY

You came to us so gentle and so pure

For how long you would be here we were unsure

But we knew each day we got to share with you

Would make our lives more complete and more true

You see you taught us to love more than we know

With your broken heart you made our whole hearts grow

So as you look up to us we will give to you our heart

And promise to take care of you and always do our part

While you are here rely on us to get you through

To help you do the things that you cannot do

We know you will fly when your job here is done

And your place in the heavens you have rightfully won

But first you must let go of all the earth binding strings

That are way too heavy to carry on butterfly wings

Now our angels are up there and free from all pain

But we still feel their breath in the breeze before the rain

So fly butterfly fly and take with you our love

To each of our angels who are watching us from above

Now we look up to them with a prayer in our hearts

As they promise to take care of us and always do their part

Because you see now they are helping us get through

And doing things for us that we cannot do.

So fly butterfly fly and take with you our love

To each of our angels who are watching us from above

By: Laurie Tye

Thank you to Teea, Jen & Andrea for putting your heart and soul into the Angel Ceremony. It was lovely. Your children love you, as do we!

Again, this day wouldn't have been possible without our sponsors. They are also listed here. Big thanks to Mark Hiles with Diamond Rentals for suppling the tables, tents etc. Such an enormous help. The Faulkners at Will's Pit Stop for bringing our water once again. Your generosity astounds! A huge shout out to Carolyn for her contact at WestPro. What an amazing deal on shirts! Thank you for helping us, and thank you WestPro for the incredible discount! Those people you say wondering around with a camera glued to their faces, were our photographers Peter Firth & Mary Hansen. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to encroach upon your time to borrow you and your skills. Now we can remember the wonderful day, in pictures! Thank you!

Thank you to all those who ventured out to the park EARLY to help. Heather Griffith used her talent to design the front of the shirt for us this year. I love it!! Thank you Heather, and also thank you for helping with check in. Kim Brown and her girls Hillary & Madison helped decorate and also made the wonderful thank you posters for the sponsors and donors. They were perfect! Tiffany & Kristen Day once again offered their services and helped with check in/registration. You girls are the best! Thank you!! My niece Jaylyn and her friend Shelese were also helping again this year! Thanks for sacrificing your beauty sleep!! Also my nephew Christopher, thank you for your early help, and also helping with the Prize Drawing.

The Homers & the Pattons thank you for the help getting donations/sponsors and being willing to help where you were needed! Thank you to Vicki for your assistance at the Silent Auction table! I'm looking forward to the Festival of Trees!! Amy & Ashley for your help during the Prize drawing. Amy, thank you for your help getting prizes and Ashley, thank you for the use of the PA system. I think things were heard much more easily this year! Sarah Benson, thank you for your willingness to help. Thank you to Scott & Jonathan for your assistance in handling all of the website information. Registrations, and updating the website as needed. You guys are great!
The day would not have been possible without Christina and her countless hours of work. She headed up the Silent Auction, as well as helping with everything else. There are no words except WOW!!! You are amazing! You are an inspiration! Thank you for your support and friendship. I bet your kids are thankful to have their mom back! ;) Things got a little insanely busy for a couple weeks.

Thank you to my family and friends who were able to come support CHD's and us, as we remember Elaine and the life she lived. Jaylyn, Christopher, Nancy, Eastman's, Torsak's, Bakers, Syme's, Johanson's, Day's, Coulson's, Thank you! We love you! Thank you to Darin and my kids for putting up with my craziness and an absentee me. I love you!
Thank you to all who came & enjoyed, and spread the word. Thank you to all those who were not able to attend, but still support IHH through donations & service. The fundraiser was a HUGE success and will make so many things possible for those effected by CHD's like Heart Camp, Care Bags, Meal Cards & other activities.

***I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. If I have I will add you ASAP! More pictures to come!**

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Brief........to be continued


I want to post about the walk. It was great! So many things to share and fun pictures. I am heading out to Seattle and Canada for the next few days. You will have to make do with this picture. More to come!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You Tube Link

**If you are interested in listening to the Utah Families Show that aired on 8/23/10 about IHH & the walk, here you go

Thanks a million to Rebecca Cressman & my fabulous husband. It took some patience to get the huge audio file transfered, but they did it!!! Then Darin got to teach himself all about you tube and breaking things into segments, yadda, yadda. Thank you for your assistance! You are the best! Love you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Voice of the Spirit

Mormon Messages "Voice of the Spirit" **



It was interesting that the man walking to the pawn shop passed by murmuring voices, whining voices abhorring work, seductive voices, flattering voices. He passed them all easily and without much effort. When it came to the commercial voices he paused a little longer to look at the luxury car. It seems like the mists of darkness are filled with commercials and advertisements for what we "must not do without". Spending time, money, energy for that which is of no worth. There are very subtle lines drawn dividing what has worth, what has some worth and that which is of no worth at all.

Is food important? Of course but what about eating out at fancy restaurants or purchasing costly foods?

Is a house important? I would say so, for safety and security of a family but how big and how much property?

Is a car important? Yes, to get from place to place but what kind and how much should be spent on it?

On and on this list can go. Amazingly this is all about items that will only last while we are on this earth. They are not eternal in their nature. Not eternal and yet we spend almost all of our time, effort, thinking on them. In fact what else but earthly items/services can money buy? Items/services on earth where moth eat and rust corrupt.

I do not think that spending money is bad. Without it education would be difficult to obtain. The creation of the "Perpetual Education Fun" of the LDS church was in an effort to provide money for education. The birth of my children cost money due to hospital stays. My daughter Elaine was born with a heart defect and would have died within days of birth but due to very costly surgeries she lived until the day before she turned 3 years old. I could never have placed a dollar value on what I would have spent to have her alive for 3 years but I can look back at the bills and tell you how much money it did cost.

I guess this is why it is so important to read the scriptures and pray so we can be guided by the spirit as President Faust says in this talk. We can be guided by the spirit to not completely loose track of our eternal goal! The lines dividing worth that started out looking subtle and vague end up being solid and having substance like an iron rod.

** This video can be found on LDS.org or http://www.youtube.com/user/mormonmessages

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Broken Hearts



My friend Nicole put this together. Enjoy - and don't forget to look for Elaine!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ashton is 5!!!!!


Hard to believe that 5 years ago Ashton looked like this:

And now he's grown into this:


He is such a sweet boy. He always tells me he loves me, and likes to give me hugs. He enjoys legos, baseball and anything star wars or indiana jones. I love my boy! Happy Birthday, Ashton!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

IHH hits the waves


Not the wet kind of waves, but the invisible ones. Thursday morning Christina, Sarah Benson (Miss Springeville/Mapelton) and I were able to participate in a 25 minute radio show called "Utah Families", hosted by Rebecca Cressman. It was a great experience. I really had no idea what to expect. It was quite fun, and I would do it again in a heart beat! We were able to talk about Intermountain Healing Heart, the services provided, Sarah shared her story about being diagnosed with a CHD at age 17 and of course we invited the community to attend the Walk for Healing Hearts in September.


The show will be aired on Monday, August 23rd at 11pm on FM 100.3. Rebecca has also used IHH as her on air Mid Day mention - so when you hear about Intermountain Healing Hearts on your radio, don't be surprised.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

10 Years!!!





Wow, am I really this old? I know I must be to have 5 kids and all, but sheesh...10 years of marriage. Quite the milestone I do believe. Yippie for us! We haven't really been able to celebrate this year *boo*. We are hoping to plan a get a way vacation for the two of us for next year sometime. Babies kinda need their mommies (and daddies). In 10 years Darin and I have not ever had a night alone, away from our kids. For many people this is so strange because they do it all the time. It will be strange next year, for sure. I am looking forward to the quality time with my spouse. Sometimes life just bombards you and it is easy to lose site of the romance, especially when you are changing diapers and dealing with little people's needs all the time. I wouldn't change it though, we love our family and our wonderful children.
I am glad that Darin was able to take me to the temple and be sealed to me. Can you imagine what our lives would be like - especially considering Elaine - without it? I cannot. I know I will see her again one day. It's still hard, everyday, but it gives me hope.

Here are some fun pictures of our wedding. It was so flippin' early in the morning!! We had to be tot he Temple by 6am, which meant leaving SR by like 5am. CRAZY!


Happy Anniversary to my favorite guy! I love you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Attention Dog Owners


Do we own a dog? Not the last time I checked. Then tell me why do I have a fresh pile of poo on my lawn about every stinkin' day? Yesterday there were two. I get that they are animals and pretty much go where they please. If I had a dog, I'd try my darnedest to keep the crap to myself. Please don't let your animal roam free. We live in a neighborhood, not the outback. I don't enjoy the stuff that gets squished all over my shoe and spread through the house. It's stinks and is gross. I don't throw my kids' diapers' on your lawn (maybe I should find the culprits and implement this practice) so don't let your beast treat my nice green lawn like a toilet. It stains. Thank you!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Registration is OPEN!!!!


If you are planning on attending Intermountain Healing Hearts' Walk for Healing Hearts on September 11th, 2010 in Provo....


Online Registration is now available here. We are all so excited about the event this year. It's going to be amazing. Many fabulous prizes for the door prizes, as well as the Silent Auction. We should have a list of prizes up on the website in the near future so you can get excited too!!

This event is the big fundraiser for IHH that keeps us going through out the year. It's not the only one, but it's a doozy! Come help spread awareness for Congenital Heart Defects and help us enrich the lives of those affected. You really do make a difference. Everyone is welcome to attend, so invite, invite, invite!!! If you have questions, feel free to contact me!

HUGE thanks to our Sponsors!!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

How'd you do that?

That's what people will be asking Darin about his new bruise. I'll show you how....The first video is Brayten! The next 2 are Darin. Seriously?!





Monday, July 19, 2010

Did he Say what I think he said?



(A Damon Bradley impostor)
While Darin and I were at the hospital with Vaughn when he got readmitted at 4 days old, we heard the funniest thing. Over the PA we hear "Damon Bradley, please call ****. Damon Bradley". We looked at each other and laughed. Hard. We then preceded to discuss weather or not it was a real page or a prank. Damon Bradley, seriously?! What are the odds?
(The impostor Damon Bradley)
We got online and checked the hospital staff and there wasn't a Damon Bradley listed, but he could have been a nurse or a patient or something. The list was only for Doctors.

If you don't get why this is so funny, you need to watch the movie Only You. It's great.....well, I love it. Then this post will all make sense to you.

It's almost as weird as the fact that Primary Children's has an employee named Darren Andrews. That used to throw us for a loop all the time when he would get paged and we would think it was for us. Talk about a heart attack!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pregnant Me


If anyone is interested, here are a few pictures of me the day before Vaughn was born.