Monday, June 13, 2011

New blog

What better time than to start up a new blog, right? I've once again filled up my space for pictures. Let me know if you know what I'm doing wrong.

Leave a message if you want the new blog address.

Ta ta for now.

Hodge podge

Love holding our sweet little Marla, Loyd and Angela's baby.

Nate smiling

The toys are packed away. But no worries, the boys always are good at improvising.

Hanging out with some great people we met while living here.

Our awesome movers. This is installation number 1. These guys came in and packed up the house.

The final movers are here loading the containment with our stuff. I thought it would be an hour or so. I was wrong. They wrap up every piece they put in the container. They've been here for almost 5 hours and I'm guessing they still have another hour or so. Nicest guys. The house is looking pretty empty. We're paying bills and tying up loose ends. The carpet cleaners should be here tomorrow. Toki is at scout camp today and tomorrow.

The pictures in this post are not organized. Too tired to care. We were able to hang out with several friends before the big move. Love this park.

Hanging out with the Mitchells.

Installation number 2. Different packers who loaded up the container.

Where our stuff will be for a month or two. I hope it makes it to Tokyo!

Our movers were so awesome. Really.

Ice blocking at the park.

I'm really glad for this friend. She was often getting me out of the house. We ran and biked together. Our kids got along well so play dates at the park or church parking lot were always nice. I hope I find another friend like Jen and maybe even step it up and be one. I'm grateful for a good friend.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some updates/thoughts

So we sold our washer, dryer, and lawn mower today. We sold the car yesterday and the van a couple of weeks ago. Loyd came and picked up the green couches and some furniture we didn't want. If you thought we were minimalists before, you should see us now.

Without a car this morning, Vy rode his bike to school (accompanied by Chris). Toki opted to hitch a ride with his friend. By the afternoon we had picked up our car rental to hold us over for the week. I'll probably be heading to the Laundromat or a friend's house to do laundry.

We've been busy. We've both been cramming in as many private Japanese lessons as we can. Chris has been working on the house non-stop. He's also been working out the logistics of the move. I've been selling our stuff, getting the house clean for the showings, buying stuff we need, and other odds and ends. We also did a road trip to Mesa last weekend....only took 24 hours round trip to go to a wedding. Yikes.

We've been busy but there has been a lot of downtime as well. And although there has been tons to do, things are moving along smoothly. We're down to less than a week...movers are coming to pack up the house on Friday, on Monday they'll put everything in a cargo to ship, carpet cleaners on Tuesday, board a plane on Wednesday.

I don't know what to think. I'm mostly excited. I'm trunky and ready to go. And then there's this worry that I'm going to let the radiation problem taint my experience. It certainly is there and it's not going to go away. It's in the water, in the air, on surfaces everywhere...I'm praying to be protected during our stay in Tokyo.

Why are we doing this now, after all that has happened? We've had this dream to live in Japan for soooo long now. A path was made and we followed it. Now we're just going to live our lives to the fullest. Life's short and I'm not one to get up day in and day out doing the same old, same old.

We're doing this by faith and praying and hoping for the best outcome.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I use to think that Vy was all Chris. After taking a second look at my kid picture next to Vy, I'm thinking he looks more like me now.

Hope your Monday was as Mellow as Ours :0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the Latest tidbits

The phone rang. It was Toki. "Mom, I threw up." Poor kid threw up at the computer lab. Remnants of his snack, before standardized testing, were all over his pant leg to prove it. Luckily the secretary had read an article about this girl in the Sunday paper. She immedietely knew what I was talking about when I said gastroparesis. I had read the article too. It made me teary.

We're hoping it was something he ate this past weekend. That would mean it's not as serious a case as Gentrie's in which they don't know what causes it. She just couldn't keep anything down before they finally put a pacemaker in her tummy to get her stomach to pump food down. Toki says, "my body doesn't like food" to describe what he's going through. Pretty much his stomach can't digest certain foods and it sits there fermenting and causing pain. Anything else trying to go down will come up unless gravity pulls whatever has been sitting in there down to make room for the new stuff.

We know for sure he has no ability to digest dairy. Hopefully, he ate something with dairy in it that's causing this episode.

He recently read the Dragon Rider and ranked it up there with the Fablehaven series he just finished.

So I picked up the Inkheart series and the Thief Lord by the same author. I threw in a couple more books to mix things up. The other two are Beehive award winners, so they should be good. Let's see if my bookworm can finish these in 3 weeks.

For Mother's Day weekend we had a yard sale.

We wrapped up some house work including putting up a new fence/gate, painting the boy's room and some furniture, and did lots of cleaning. We've been slaving away this past week. Poor Chris has been working through this with a sore lower back. He fell a few weeks ago and he hasn't had time to rest, so it hasn't gotten better.

We also got to hang out with our Provo friends. A big thanks to Ang and Tasha for organizing that!! It was so good to see everyone and all the kids. Thanks Jess for the slideshow. The pictures turned out great!

To think we were all newly weds with no kids when we first met!!! We've all been through a lot in the last decade and yet Life is good.

On Mother's day, I slept and slept and slept. I just could not wake up. I slept 8 hours the night before, woke up for a brief time and then I slept most of the day, and then I slept all night long. I was pretty much asleep on Mother's Day. Thanks to daddy and the boys for letting me catch up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For Spring Break

We went to Zions National Park. It's the first time we've ever been. At first we were going to go to Moab but after we learned that the Jeep Safari was going on (and I really didn't want to deal with the crowds), we switched to Zions. It wasn't any better in Zions since it was National parks week and Spring break. However, we were able to get into Zions, Bryce National park and the Grand Staircase Escalante State Park for free. We spent the bulk of our trip in Zions and one day visiting the other parks. The weather was so nice. It wasn't hot or too cold. It was just the right temperature for physical activities. Nights were cold and rainy for a few minutes.

It was pretty busy so we spent the first night at a commercial camp sight just south of the park and early the next morning went into the Zions and found an awesome spot to stay for another 3 nights.

We hiked to the upper Emerald pools, Weeping Rock (not much of a hike), and the Shinawava Temple. The trails we're mostly paved and very kid friendly. We saw lots of strollers. We drove through a mile long tunnel on our way to see the other parks. In Bryce Canyon we stopped at a couple look out points and tried to hike on one of the trails. It was too muddy. We turned back but not before we were caked in mud. We took a dirt road to the Governors Arch in the Grand Staircase and went up to the top from the back. We went to Glen Canyon Dam, outside of Page Arizona. We also went back into Springdale and took showers almost everyday, shopped for "souvenirs" or bribes for no whining during the hikes and drives, and on the last day participated in the Easter egg hunt that the locals put on.

We did dutch oven cooking for the first 3 nights and hit Denny's in Page, Arizona after a long day of driving and sight seeing. I love Dutch oven cooking. We just needed a couple more mouths to feed....we had so much leftovers every night. We made a breakfast pizza, monkey rolls, peach cobbler, enchilada pie, cinnamon rolls, amd Shepard's pie. Chris' favorite was the Shepard's pie with a twist. We added green salsa to it. My favorite was the enchilada pie. I bring recipes but usually tweak things.

For the enchilada pie (so I don't forget):
Bottom layer enchilada sauce (not too spicy if kids are eating)
lay a double layer of corn tortillas (about 6-8) I thought just 3 or 4 tortillas wasn't nearly enough
spread a layer of cooked ground beef evenly or ground turkey
spread a layer of black beans and corn
more enchilada sauce
this is where you would put a nice layer of cheese but I left this out. I was going to do soy cheese but didn't make it to the health food store.
another double layer of corn tortillas
do the same thing again with above ingredients
top with tortillas, more enchilada sauce, and I did lay some cheese on half of it so Toki could have the other half, pain free.
Cook over hot coals for 20-30 minutes.

Next time we'll bring our bikes and now I'm convinced we need a bike hitch. It would have cost over $100 just to rent bikes for the day. I really wanted to bike the Parus trail which ran right next to our camp sight and the Virgin river. It was so beautiful there.

I also wished we could have hiked the Cottonwood narrows in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Park. We drove by the entrance and exit. There was no water in the river and it looked really short and kid friendly.

The kid's favorite parts included making new friends. There was an exceptional amount of families with just boys. They found a boy's haven right next to the Virgin river and close to our camp sight: a beach full of the perfect sand. They spent a lot of time there and not enough time in their opinion. They also played with their bey blades and climbed rocks. They look forward to the camp fires and roasting marshmallows. They also found this playground toy that spun them around really fast. Only problem was it made them sick and one of them was throwing up in the car afterward.

It was a busy Spring break. I was glad we had a chance to do something. Now the kids are back in school, the laundry is backed up, I did lots and lots of yard work and Chris signed the contract to work in Japan today, decided to try and sell the house before going the renting route and picked out our Real Estate agent, Chris and Toki getting ready for the pine wood derby for tomorrow, and life is crazy busy.

Big Boy

Lolo has outgrown his bike and got a new one for his big day. He's still getting use to it. Since it's bigger he has a harder time getting going but since we're having more warm days, he rides his bike to school and is getting lots of practice. He wants a volcano making party....should be a messy one.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Endoscopy Results on child

Last week, Toki attended a full week of school pain free for the first time in a long time. Last month was a really difficult month for us. I was often sending him to school even though he wasn't feeling well.

A couple weeks ago he had an endoscopy to find out what was causing chronic stomach aches. Symptoms included acid, nausea, and pain behind the belly button. He's also had congestion, rash, diarrhea, and was throwing up. Celiacs, diabetes, allergies, lactose intolerance, Crohns disease, and cancer were all conditions swimming around my head.

The results showed a stomach full of undigested food. His stomach looked like he had just eaten an hour ago and not 12. It turns out that he has no ability to digest lactose. He has zero production of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down milk protein. Anything with dairy will sit in his stomach and ferment.

I was surprised that this was the reason for so much discomfort. I thought for sure it would be a wheat allergy or Celiacs with damage to the villi in his intestines. She said she saw no damage to the villi. Fabulous new!

I've thought for a long time now that he might be lactose intolerant, so it hasn't been devastating for us. Now instead of some dairy he has none. When he got over his milk allergy, he began to have some milk, yogurt, cheese, and ice cream but those were certainly not his main foods......he just didn't have a taste for milk and the other things he just tolerated. He'll probably only miss the ice cream and shredded cheese.

An interesting side note. Chris gave Toki a priesthood blessing. In it, Chris said that his parents (us) would understand what he is going through to better help him. Both Chris and I came down with horrible stomach issues. I had the worst stomach pains and food poisoning symptoms. I was up throwing up but it wasn't because I was nauseous. It was because the food was not digesting and going down. I felt so full and the food just came up, everyone hour or so throughout the night. I thought for sure it was food poisoning and called some people we had dinner with the night before. Everyone seemed to be fine. Chris felt similar symptoms later that afternoon. The severe symptoms for me went away after a day and then I just felt full all the time for another few days. For went on for about a week. Toki was going through the same thing. And of course, the other two boys......completely healthy and they never got anything.

The latest Lego creation.