Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diabetes Siblings Day

I have been sitting here this morning looking up some information on the internet and I couldn't help but feel a little guilty. Diabetes takes up so much of my time throughout the day (& night)! I try very hard as a mom to make everything as normal and fair as humanly possible for all of my children. I try so hard not to treat Brenden and Christopher any differently than I do my girls, but let's face it...I do sometimes.

Have I been neglecting my other four kids...my girls?

Since Brenden has been diagnosed, I have spent a lot of time away from home. He has gymnastics every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings for 2 hours each night. I have to go with him to make sure he is checking his blood sugar, and to treat when he goes low (which has been happening a lot lately, despite the additional snacks given before and during).

Brittaney has been the 2nd mom here at home. She takes care of the kids while I am gone. She ensures homework and chores get done. She makes sure they eat (I leave here at 3:35 and don't get home until around 6:45). I couldn't do this without her...have I told you how amazing she is?

Kehli is my quiet, but totally silly child! She asked me a question the other day that made me stop in my tracks. She asked me if she could get diabetes by getting pricked from one of the boys needles or something. I haven't really ever thought about whether my kids really understood that this disease is NOT contagious. I thought they all understood but evidently not. I wonder how long she has had these questions swirling around in that lovely brain of hers? How much worry was caused because I didn't think to ask the right questions or inform her properly? So, we had a good long talk and I answered her questions. I think we are going to have a FHE about diabetes and set the record straight about some things and answer ANY questions the kiddos have.

Katelyn keep everyone laughing. She loves to watch the boys do their testing and shots. She has even tested her BS a few times recently. I think she secretly thinks it's kind of cool. I'm sure she would feel otherwise if she HAD to do it every day. She helps to keep perspective in a crazy time of our lives. Her laugh is so contagious and sometimes that is all you need...to laugh really hard! Thanks for making everyone so happy!

Tayler doesn't know life without diabetes. This is just normal to her. She asked the other day if Brenden had taken his insulin yet. How many 3 year olds even know the word insulin? We have caught her on many occasions getting the boys lancets (finger-pokers) and trying to "take her blood sugar". She is patient while we wait in line to get our grocery bags full of prescriptions at the pharmacy. She has kissed the boys "owies" for them. Though I don't think she fully understands, she is so empathetic to her big brothers! It is so sweet.

How thankful I am to these little heros for being so patient with Rich and I as we try and figure this all out. I do KNOW that this affects their lives in a BIG way too. They may not have the disease but diabetes affects the entire family. The girls have been so patient as we have had to give extra time to their brothers. Here's a positive...at least the boys share a room so the girls aren't woken up during the middle of the night blood sugar checks.

So girls...know this~

Your Dad and I couldn't love you any more than we do! We stand in awe of the support and love that you give to your brothers and to us. I wish every diabetic child had sisters like you, and every diabetic parent had daughters like you. Please know that you are not invisible to us...quite the opposite. Your inner and outer beauty are absolutely radiant and shining forth so brightly!
I love you and am so proud to be your mom!!

~I am officially declaring today...~

Diabetes Siblings Day!!

(You ROCK!!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Attitude of Gratitude


Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary,
because it means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.

~ Unknown

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Passing the time

What do you do at 10:08pm at your house?

We have low blood sugar "parties"!!

Christopher's blood sugar was 70 (and falling).
Brenden's blood sugar was 34.
They are supposed to be 80-120 (just so you know)
They were NOT feeling very good, so they both drank some juice. Then they both laid down on the couch together so I had to snap a quick (great mommy moment) picture.
Again...Brotherly LOVE!!

Brotherly Love

Brotherly LOVE...
This is what it looks like at our house!

Christopher giving Brenden his dinner shot.
(This makes my heart smile and my eyes well up with tears)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Diabetes Awareness Day

Diabetes Awareness Day!!
November 14, 2010

Here are my boys!
Brenden was diagnosed November 1, 2010 at 8 yrs. old
Christopher was diagnosed December 17, 2005 at 9 yrs. old

The whole family wearing our AWESOME t-shirts that my cousin's company made for our family to wear today!

We all wore our t-shirts to church (we tried to dress them up a little)! I had no idea what was waiting for us in the chapel. We walked in to a chapel full of people wearing stickers with this logo on them (about the size of my palm)!

More than just a sticker...!

I don't think I have ever been so touched by something in my life. Today was also the primary program at church. The spirit was so strong during this meeting! I had to lead the closing hymn...the congregation sang the first 3 verses and the primary kids sang the last verse. We sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives! Between the words of that song and looking out at the congregation wearing these stickers for my boys, I could not hold back the tears! Just like the words to one of the songs the primary kids sang today...
I Know That My Savior Loves Me!
Our ward family have truly been angels here on earth for us!
Today has been a WONDERFUL day!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christopher's Hospital Stay...

Christopher had a visit to the ER a few weeks ago too! He started feeling bad and so I told him to check his blood sugar. It was really elevated. After a little while he was throwing up, so we decided to change his insulin and his site and try and get him to drink as much water as possible. His levels started coming down (slightly), but then they shot right back up. We gave more fluids (only to have them thrown right back up), we gave him extra insulin, yet nothing was working. His blood sugar was over 600 and he had moderate ketones (very dangerous)! We finally wound up taking him into the ER. He was in really bad shape. He had lost 14 lbs. in a matter of a few days, he was having breathing issues...it was HORRIBLE!!
The doctors began treating him, but we knew he would have to be transferred to Riley Children's hospital. Christopher got to ride in another ambulance. He was actually a little excited. When he was first diagnosed and had to be transferred in an ambulance, shortly after being on the road he slipped into a coma and didn't remember the ride. He was bummed!
It made me really nervous to be back in the ambulance with Christopher in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). The memories of his first ride came flooding back and I didn't want to go through that again. It was a horrible feeling when the paramedic tried to wake him up and nothing happened...words can't describe it.
Anyway, we got to Riley Hospital and Christopher was in critical condition and had to be in the PICU. His heart had some tachycardia rhythms in the ambulance too so they hooked him up to heart machines and did an EKG and everything too. They had to put him on oxygen due to his breathing.

He had to have 2 IV's that were horrible to even get because he was so dehydrated. It is so hard to see your "baby" lying there so helpless and so sick! It took them a very long time to get him stabilized! The worst part was hearing and watching him breathe. When you are in DKA, your body is trying to rid itself of the ketones in your body. One way of doing this is by expelling carbon dioxide. So his breathing was very fast. His breaths per minute were in the upper 30's. They are supposed to be around 15. So, he was breathing twice as fast as he should have been. But he was also breathing very deep. It's like when the doctor asks you to breathe deep so they can listen to your lungs. Think of someone who has just finished a marathon and they are breathing fast and very deep...that is was it is like! He did that for over 18 hours. It was EXCRUCIATING to hear and watch.
They finally got him stabilized overnight Monday. Tuesday morning, they hooked him back up to his insulin pump and they moved him to the regular Peds ward. His bed was actually just a few doors down from the PICU. They only have 6 PICU beds and they needed his bed. We proceeded through the day and his normal blood sugars began going back up again. My parents came to visit him that night and Rich brought the kids up. Christopher was sleeping most of the time. My mom had said she thought she would see him up and normal, but he wasn't. I told her he was much better that yesterday, but something wasn't right. His blood sugars were going back up and he was sleeping a lot. The nurses came in and tested his BS and did more blood work to try and figure out what was going on. The family all left, but I stayed with him. A few minutes after everyone had left, Christopher woke up and said he wasn't feeling good again. He started throwing up. The nurse came in just moments after and gave the test results. His levels were horrible again and we had to move him back to the PICU. We were out of there and back in the PICU within about 2 minutes. They had to hook him back up to an IV insulin drip. He had 2 IV's in his arms, but one wasn't working anymore, so they had to do another one. It took them over an hour to get one. I held his hand as they proceeded to dig in his arm forever. I remember at one point after they had been digging forever, I just said out loud..."Please Heavenly Father...PLEASE help them get this in!" One of the nurses just put her arm around me and whispered to me..."I am so sorry"! I am so thankful for the love and compassion that the nurses showed to us. I think they finally got one after the 6th try. They called up a nurse from the ER to do it and she finally got it. FINALLY, that part was over!

After all of the nurses got everything taken care of (the IV, the oxygen, the heart monitors...) they all left and the room was quiet. I was sitting on Christopher's bad holding his had and he looked up at me and with tears in his eyes said, "Mom, I thought I was getting better...why is this happening again?" I told him that I didn't know, but that these were the best doctors and nurses and they would figure it out and help him to feel better again. The next question about broke me... He looked at me and asked me, "Mom, am I going to die?" I couldn't stop the tears, but I tried. I assured him that the doctors would figure everything out and not to worry. I told him to close his eyes and rest and that I would stay awake so I could know everything that was going on and not to worry. I was exhausted (I hadn't slept since Saturday and it was now Tuesday night), but there was NO WAY I was going to sleep until they figured out what was going on with my baby!

We figured it out the next morning when Rich came back to the hospital. We changed his insulin site and when Rich pulled it out, the plastic cannula that stays in Christopher's body was completely bent in half and therefore was keeping the insulin from flowing through into his body. What a relief to have the answer...and it was a simple fix!
We got all of his tubing and site changed and got him back on his pump. He did great throughout the day and they let him go home that evening! It was a horrible 4 days, but the outcome was fine! My little boy was ok and I was able to take him home!
We have wonderful friends who stepped up and brought my other kiddos dinner and helped everyone get to where they needed to be!

Family + Friends = PRICELESS!!

As you can tell, the last month of our lives have been absolutely crazy! However, I am so thankful for so many things too! I know that through our trials and struggles we are able to learn and grow beyond description! I'm not sure why my boys have to endure this disease, but I do know that with our love and support, they will be able to live full, happy lives (hopefully with no complications)! If complications are their fate, then we will help them get through that as well! I love these boys with everything that I am and will do whatever it takes to make their lives as "normal" as possible! This will be a lifelong struggle for them, but I pray every day for a cure for this horrible disease.
I have had people ask me how I deal with this knowing that God "did this to them". My answer is simple...Heavenly Father did not "do this to them", but I do know that he will "do this WITH them". He never leaves us alone. I am so thankful for my faith and knowledge of the Atonement. When our Savior suffered that day in Gethsemane, he not only felt the pains of our sins but also of our sadness, despair and heartbreak! He KNOWS how each of us are feeling. Sometimes, things are just too hard to deal with on our own, so we have to turn it over to the Lord! He can make our burdens lighter, if we let him! I wish he could take this burden completely from my family, but that is not the plan at this time. We will continue to do our best at fighting this so that one day when a cure is found, my boys will be alive and healthy enough to benefit from it.
Please continue to pray for my boys, but I also ask that you keep Rich and I in your prayers as well! We need the strength and courage to be strong for these kiddos and we need patience and determination to deal with this daily! Diabetes never sleeps, it never goes on vacation. This is a part of our lives 24 hrs. a day, 7 days a week! I know we can do this. There will be hard days and there will be good days. We just have to be extra grateful for and focus on those good days! As hard as the last month has been, I know this is not the end of our hard days. However, I know that there will be even more good days ahead of us!

Sunday~ November 14, 2010 is National Diabetes Day!!
Please wear blue for my boys and send me a picture! I would love to show them how many people love and support them!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lightning struck TWICE

~November 1, 2010~
Our lives were changed forever...AGAIN!!

Brenden was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

Here is his story:
Last Thursday, Brenden wet his bed in the middle of the night. He has never had a bed-wetting problem (even when he was a toddler). I didn't think anything about it other than he must have had a lot to drink before bed and didn't go potty either. Then on Saturday, Brenden told Rich that he was really tired because he has to keep getting up in the middle of the night and peeing all of the time. Rich told me that night and it sent up a little red flag but...I still thought no way!
Then, Sunday night...
Rich and I had just gotten into bed and had turned of the lights and we heard the kids bathroom door shut. I asked Rich to please go see who that was...it was Brenden. I told Rich that we needed to check his blood sugar. After he came out of the bathroom (it's around midnight), we brought him into our room and sat him on our bed. We got Christopher's meter and proceeded to check his blood sugar. When it beeped and I looked at the meter with the result staring me in the face, I felt like I couldn't breathe. It was registering HI...that means his blood sugar was over 600. The meter will only register to 600. I told Rich to check his blood sugar just to make sure the meter was ok. Rich tested and he was ok. We checked Brenden again and the result was the same...HI. i went downstairs with my heart pounding out of my chest and got a different meter. We tested him for a 3rd time, but with the new meter...same result!
We knew we had to take him to the ER. I went downstairs to call my mom and ask her to come sit with the kiddos. In my brief walk down my stairs, the floodgates opened and I couldn't control the tears! Was this really happening to our family AGAIN?? How could this disease ravish another one of my childrens bodies? My poor mother probably could not even understand me through my crying. I wasn't crying due to panic or fear this time...it was pure heartbreak! I knew what we were headed for...what Brenden would have to go through!
My mom came and we left for the hospital. Christopher had woken up during this time and wanted to come with us to support Brenden so we let him. We got to the hospital and our worst fears were confirmed...

Brenden has Type 1 Diabetes too!

Brenden in the ambulance

They transferred him to Riley Children's hospital in an ambulance! He thought it was pretty cool that he got to ride in one. They took care of him so well there. They gave us lots of wonderful goodies (diabetes supplies) to take home with us. One blessing is that we got to come home on Monday night. They normally keep new diabetic patients for 3 days to go through all of the education and training, but since we already had a child with diabetes and knew things, they let us come home! I was so grateful because we had just spent 3 days in the PICU there exactly 3 weeks before with Christopher. He had a complication with his insulin pump and wound up in DKA and in the hospital. It was nice to see the nurses again, but none of us could believe that we were back and that it was for Brenden this time. Needless to say, we have not had the best month!

Since Monday...
Brenden has checked his blood sugar approximately 28 times.
He has had 18 shots.
He has told me he is scared that he is going to die once!

This is something no little boy (or girl) should ever have to go through or worry about! No mom should ever have to hear her baby express that fear! The first set of shots he got, the nurse and Rich had to hold him down while I did it...he cried and was so scared, but he tried to be so brave! Each shot has gotten better! Another hard thing for Brenden is that this little boy has no fat on him. He is a gymnast and has abs, thighs and buns of steel. Usually, the stomach is the best place to give shots, but the nurses told us not to touch his stomach because there is absolutely nothing there to pinch. That really limits the surface area we have to work with now. We use his thighs, the top of his bum, and the back of his arms. We will use his legs and bum at home and the nurse will use his arms to give his shots at school. He hasn't gone back to school yet. He will go back on Monday. I think he is pretty nervous about that and I KNOW I am. It is hard to turn my baby's life over to another person. It amazes me that none of the school nurses we have dealt with have ever dealt with a child with diabetes before. There is a learning curve and there will be LOTS of phone calls and emails in the beginning. I appreciated that the nurse was honest and asked if she could call every day before doing anything just to have me double check things. I am so thankful that I literally live 1 minute from the school.
This morning when Brenden came downstairs, he had his meter in his hand and he said, "Don't worry Mom, you don't have to tell me to check my BS, I already did it by myself." I have to admit, it made me cry! I was so proud of him. He is being such a trooper and he is so brave! The strength that my boys have shown me through all of this is simply AMAZING!

We have wonderful friends and family that have been here for us and have helped us get through this. To everyone for everything each of you have done...


We have our emotional ups and downs!
I try to remember the things we have to be grateful for such as:

1. We have already been through this before, so it isn't as scary this time.
2. We have great insurance.
3. We have wonderful hospitals here for my boys.
4. My boys now have each other and will NEVER feel like they are going through this alone.
5. Heavenly Father knows what we are going through.
6. Insulin
7. My boys are AMAZING, STRONG and soooo BRAVE!!
8. Priesthood blessings
9. Prayers offered on behalf of my family
10. Our great endocrinologist~ Dr. Cagle
(just to name a few...)

Well, it is late and I need to go (my thoughts are all jumbled up right now too) so I will finish this tomorrow!
We love each of you and are so thankful for everyone's love and prayers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

There is going to be a temple in...

I can't even begin to express the joy that this simple announcement brought to my heart today! I have prayed that a temple would be built here so that I could go more often! What a wonderful blessing and answer to my prayers (I know so many others have been praying for this same blessing)!
I feel so blessed and thankful today!!

I have dreamed so many times of being able to...

* go with my husband to the temple for a date night
(and not have to drive over 2 hours to get there)
* take my children OFTEN and walk with them on the temple grounds
* go for a drive and see that most beautiful building lit up at night

My DREAMS are coming TRUE...

“Let us be a temple-attending people. Attend the temple as frequently as personal circumstances allow. Keep a picture of a temple in your home that your children may see it. Teach them about the purposes of the House of the Lord. Have them plan from their earliest years to go there and to remain worthy of that blessing.”

"May you let the meaning and beauty and peace of the temple come into your everyday life..."
--President Howard W. Hunter October 1994 General Conference

This is my special temple!
This is the Frankfurt, Germany temple where my best friend and I were sealed together for time and all eternity!! Oh how I love this place... Heaven on Earth!!

Can You Guess?

I have decided that I need to do better at saving money when I grocery shop! Now, I don't do that bad normally but I do know that with some effort I could do better. So, tonight I went to the store with coupons and my list in hand! Here are the "fruits" of my labors!!

Can you guess how much I spent on all of this?
How much do you think it all actually retailed for?

The total is............!?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Heaven on Earth

We have had a full, wonderful summer! A family reunion in Idaho with Rich's family and then a family reunion in Destin, FL. with my family! This summer has truly made my heart smile! I am so thankful for my entire family! Thank you to all of my family for giving me a glimpse of what heaven could be like! I LOVE you all!!
(updates with pictures to follow soon)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I was on the computer this morning and I found this picture! Life has thrown me a few curve balls (as it does to everyone). However (and I am embarrassed to admit this), I have let life and some of these curve balls overwhelm me recently! I have often wished that some things in my life were easier, but I always tell myself..."It could always be worse!" BUT---this picture says it best...I am the one who needs to be better! I cannot always make my life easier, but I can make myself better! I better go and get on this immediately...I have A LOT of work to do on myself!

Just so you know...I do have so many things I have to be grateful for as well!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Richard!!

Happy Birthday Richard!!

Today is a special day...37 years ago my life began! Yes, I know I am only 35, but the love of my life was born 37 years ago today, thus...my life began!

The world was changed February 23, 1973!

There are so many cute, funny, crazy stories that I have heard about my hubby growing up. My fab SIL Nicki did a beautiful post about him for his birthday with funny stories. Thanks Nicki!!

Rich and I met May 27, 1991 (that was the day my world changed)! We were engaged by July 26, 1991 and were married June 12, 1992 (4 days after I graduated from high school)! I look at Brittaney now and we have already told her that we will kill her if she even thinks about it (well,we would at least lock her in her room forever)! As crazy as everything was, marrying this incredible man was the best decision I ever made! We have been married for 17 years 8 months and 1 week today!! It has been one incredible journey! This man is my BEST friend!

Why I LOVE Rich...
(these are just a FEW of the reasons)

Let's just put this out there...He is HOT!!
(We've been married this long and he still makes my heart skip a beat!)

He loves our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Because of how he loves me...only he and I know this!

He made me a mommy!

He is an amazing husband and father!

He loves each of our amazing kids!

He is not afraid to hug and kiss our kids!

He loves his mom and dad!

He loves his brothers and sisters!

Because of how he looks at me...he melts my heart!

He watches "chick flicks" with me!

He LOVES the Steelers!

He sacrifices so much for our family!

He made a commitment and graduated from college!

He still holds my hand!

He works so hard to provide for our "little" family!

He laughs so hard that he cries!

He rubs my back EVERY night in bed!

His handsome face is the last I see before going to sleep!

His handsome face is the first I see in the morning!

He is an awesome cook!

He lights up when he sees his kids!

He helps me around the house...SO SEXY!!

He still "dates" me!

He would do anything for anyone!

His beautiful eyes!

He has a tan line on his ring finger...makes my heart smile!

He would give his life for his family!

He loves my cooking!

He is awesome with electronics and technology!

His sense of humor!

He is so patient with me...trust me, I need it!

He forgives me daily!

He is so ticklish and hates to be tickled...but let's his kids do it anyway!

He honors his priesthood!

He likes being with his family!

He loves watching our kids in their activities!

He still loves me after all of these years despite all of my flaws and shortcomings!

He is my ETERNAL companion!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Until Tomorrow...

I have so many things I need to blog about! However, tonight I am going to spend some time with my wonderful husband (while the kids watch a movie upstairs). Katelyn is sick. She has been running 102 fever since Thursday. I think I am going to take her into the sick clinic at her peds office tomorrow. Anyway, my point is that I will be staying home with her during church tomorrow so maybe I will have some time to sit down and blog. So, until tomorrow...I have a poem for you! I have had this since I was a teenager and it hangs on my bulletin board in my kitchen. This poem has helped me through many difficult times and I hope it helps you too!

This was the first time Tayler folded her arms for prayer all by herself!


I know not by what methods rare
But this I know God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His word
Which tells me prayer is always heard.
And will be answered, soon or late,
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessings sought
Will come just in the way I thought.
But leave my prayers with Him alone
Whose will is wiser than my own.
Assured that He will grant my quest
Or send some answer far more blessed.
Eliza M. Hickok

Friday, January 1, 2010


We had a fabulous New Year celebration! We went next door to our neighbor's house. They have become our extended family! It was a fun-filled night! We all gathered around to watch the ball drop and then lots of hugs and kisses! :)


Kehli was diagnosed with ITP (lots of hospital visits)
(she is doing really well right now)
Check this and this out

Kehli got glasses!

We made a trip out to Idaho this summer and SURPRISED Rich's parents with a visit.
We had a BLAST!!

Brittaney got braces

I was diagnosed with skin cancer and had surgery!

Brittaney turned Sweet 16

Katelyn, Brenden, and Kehli started gymnastics and the LOVE it!

Christopher started Taekwondo and he LOVES it!

Kehli and I ran a 5K together...and I survived!

Rich finished school in August and had his graduation ceremony in December!
(You are AWESOME BABE---We are so PROUD of you!!)

We have had a fun, crazy, busy year. I am thankful for my family and for the love that we share and for the fun that we have together. We have made so many fun memories this year. As we move into the new year, I hope that this year will be full of even more fun memories and hopefully less hospital visits. I hope that each of you had a wonderful 2009 and that your 2010 is even better. Thank you for being a part of my life! I feel so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends! I love you all!