Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summer Fun

Summer oh summer. We have a a good but exhausting summer. I took 2 classes this summer and that kept me pretty busy but the kids were troopers.

Makenzie and I participated in the Color Run with a couple of our friends. We had SO much fun. It was the first 5k we have ever done and we are planning to do many more!

 



Two days after my semester ended we packed up the car and headed to a family reunion to see many of my cousins I haven't seen in almost 14 years. I love road trips and this was the first one I have ever attempted with all of my children. It went fabulous and everyone did great, had fun, and the boys have already asked when we can do it again.

After organizing all of our stuff into the back of the car we headed out. Over the course of 6 days we managed to travel through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado. We hung out at the lake, went to a tiny, old, amusement park which my grandparents had once visited on a date many years ago. The boys rode go karts for a good long while and Makenzie giggled on the Farris wheel, log ride, the train and few others. The looks on my niece and nephews faces when they got on their first ever amusement park ride and their first taste of funnel cake was also priceless.



 


In my fashion this road trip took us in a circle and after the reunion we headed to rapid city, South Dakota and were able to see Bear County USA were reindeers would not move out of the middle of the road (quite tramatizing) and bears walk freely all around. We also stopped at Mt Rushmore so that the boys could see the monument and finished our site seeing with a drive through the beautiful Black Hills.


 


 

In six days I loaded and unloaded our stuff 6 times and drove most of the day for 4 of these day but it was worth all of the work. We drove on two lane country roads, had picnic lunches in the middle of nowhere, we admired tiny towns, decided that most of Nebraska smells like poop, and rocked out to Manamana more times then I can count. There was very little fighting and Makenzie did fabulous. It was normal and we had fun.

 

 

 



However, yesterday it was back to real life and right now my real life is driving me crazy. At the end of the school year due to medical reasons our amazing school nurse had to resign and I found out a couple of weeks before we left on our trip that Makenzie's school had still not hired a new nurse. After several conversations with her teacher and the principal I left on my trip praying that while we were gone the issue would be resolved and Makenzie could go to school. However, that was not the case and school starts on Monday and their plan is to have a part time nurse and med tech (that has yet to be hired) who has received 8 hours of district training and no medical education. Without boring you with all of the reasons why this is not ok I will just simple say...... This is NOT ok.

I have been stonewalled by most everyone in the district and have been given many excuses and reasons why this plan is sufficient. They have arranged a meeting with some of the big wigs on Monday and I am ready. I have letters going from the doctors, I have printed out laws from DORA and IDEA, and have contacted and advocate who will be attending the meeting with me. Please say a prayer the this will be resolved because Makenzie loves school and thrives while she is there.

School starts in two days so I am off to buys new shoes and clothes, get haircuts, and finish the supply hunt. It is going to be another busy weekend.

Believe... Prayer Works!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

YouTube

   This morning I downloaded some video that I took of Makenzie riding her bike off of my phone and onto Facebook and YouTube. I booted my computer up and was fully intending to post a video this afternoon of the bike riding but I got distracted. In the last three months the format of Makenzie's YouTube channel was changed and instead of playing one video, it was set to play video after video.

Well, I sat and watched video after video. I watched the video I took of one of Makenzie's very first laughs after her accident and with each video I realized something pretty cool.  I realized that since Makenzie learned how to smile and laugh again I have literally lived in a world of constant laughter and happiness. I challenge you to go to Makenzie's YouTube channel and just let a few videos play. You will be hard pressed to find more than a handful where Makenzie is not laughing even when she is being physically challenged. Every time a video was over and a new one started I found myself with a bigger smile on my face and Makenzie sat next to me laughing at herself laughing. 



God is so good and I am so blessed. There is no doubt that this journey has been hard and many times excruciatingly painful......... BUT......... though it all God brought laughter in the midst of many  storms through Makenzie's amazing personality.

So without further ado........ here is Makenzie riding her bike..........



and here is Makenzie watching a video of herself, riding her bike........



Believe... Prayer Works

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Long Time No Post

I don't even know where to start it has been so long. So I guess I will start with right now.


One week ago I finished my first full time semester. I loved it but it was hard and consumed a TON of time resulting in many things taking a back seat to my kids and my classes. This blog being one of those things.

I signed up for Biology thinking it wouldn't be too bad. However, on the first day of class my instructor notified the class that we would need 18-20 hours outside of class each week to study and if we had kids, a job, or were taking other classes that we would most likely not do well in his class. At that point I thought about running far and fast but I didn't. I am not a quitter and I wasn't about to start then. Needless to say he wasn't joking. The class was HARD and required every bit of time he suggested and I gave it that, plus some. I walked away from that class having set the curve for each exam with a 92.2% final grade and finished the semester with a 4.0 for all 14 hours I took. I cried real tears when final grades where posted and I realized I had kept my 4.0. I was so relieved to be done but also so proud of myself for finishing well despite the projected failure.

The hardest part about being a single mom and full time student was dinner time. We ate out a ton over the last 16 weeks. So I decided to try a new angle on dinner time. I spent the last 3 days preparing 60 meals into Foodsaver bags and put into the freezer and then will be taken out when needed and thrown into the crock pot. I am so excited that I do not have to think about anything other than what bag to take out when it comes to making dinner for the next 3 months!

 

I also joined the gym and am working on my physical self. I found a gym that has a day care that does a fantastic job with Makenzie. It really does feel good to get out and push myself back into shape. Part of the gym includes a personal trainer who not only has kicked my butt but also helped get my eating habits back under control. Between eating better and excercise I feel a ton better during the day and am a much happier person all around.


So I guess much of the last 16 weeks has been about me. After 6 years of being a full time caretaker I think it was high time and I make no appolagies. I don't think I have ever been happier nor felt so good all at the same time.

Makenzie is doing GREAT! Other then a couple of colds and a stomach bug, we had a very healthy winter. She is doing fabulous at school and is getting ready finish Kindergarten and this year she will really be going to first grade! She is riding her power chair everyday and is doing really well learning how to steer and navigate around the school.

Last but not least Makenzie finally got her very own bike this weekend!!! She was SO excited and peddled that thing around the park until she could peddle no more. We are working on tweaking a few things to make it fit a bit better and then she will be ready for many bike rides this summer with brothers! THANK YOU so much Brendan, Amtryke, and crew for your generosity and making this happen for Makenzie!

 

I am hoping this summer I will be able to get back to taking pictures and sharing them with all of you! Thank you so much hanging in there with me and Makenzie! Life is good!





Friday, January 11, 2013

Vacation Time Before Reality Stikes Again!

Well we had a wonderful end to our Christmas break and then it was back to the grind again. However, before I get back to the grind I want to document a wonderful family trip we took right after the start of the new year.

For part of our Christmas present my mom and dad planned a short trip into the mountains . Unlike all of our other mountain adventures where we jump in the car, this time we boarded a train. I have never been on a train before so I was a bit unsure of how that would go over with Makenzie but let me tell you it was SO much fun!

 

We met so many interesting people, played games, and say a lot of scenery that you miss while driving. It was about a six hour trip and we climbed the mountain very slowly. This seemed to be the trick for Makenzie's typical altitude sickness because we did not have one issue even at 10,000 ft.



During our stay we went swimming in the hot-springs. Even though it was a whole 9 degrees out the water was super warm and everyone had a wonderful time. We also went skiing. I have not been skiing for about 17 years and was pretty apprehensive. However, the moment I clicked my boots into the bindings I knew that I remembered how to ski. It was Mr 11's first time on the slops and by run 3 you would have never known. After all we have been through I would be lying if I told you I wasn't a bit anxious as I watched my kids float down the hill, and the few times I saw my son out of control and rolling down the hill I really did want to crawl out of my skin but we all walked away with a smile, some really sore muscles and wanting to go back for more.





Having babies is fun but getting to do the big kid stuff is so much more exciting! I have waited for so long to get to experience this kid of stuff with my boys. As we jumped on the first lift and I sat there with my son I realized that for the first time since Makenzie's accident that I was going to spend the whole day focused on just them. I was going to get to see my child put on ski's for the first time, and I was going to see the look on his face when he rolled off that lift and looked down the big hill.  Yes Makenzie was waiting just at the bottom in the lodge but I was focused on my boys and knew she would be just fine. Needless to say I haven't had to much fun in a very long time!





One day later I found myself back to normal life and knee deep in my kids education. Right before break I met with Mr. 13's teachers and based on testing learned that he would not qualify for any services. We talked about more ways that we could help him find success at school and since then not one single piece of our conversation was followed through on. 

I made a really tough discussion this week to pull Mr 13 out of school and use a cyber school program to finish the year. Most of these programs were already closed for the year but I prayed that if this was the right thing to do that God would open the door and low and behold there was still one door open in a program that is still enrolling.

My decision was solidified yesterday when I experienced the most negative and irritating conversation with a teacher in regards to my son to date. I asked Josh if his teacher was always so rude and negative and his answer was "yes" he then went on to tell me that one of his other teachers told him and a few other kids yesterday that they would never graduate and make it to college and that in the past this same person had told the whole class that they were dumb. Ah.....yeah..... Not going to work for me.

So today I had a little chat with the Principal and hope to get the matter resolved but I am feeling like this could be a real reason why Mr 13 is having such a hard time in school. Negativity most certainly doesn't breed success in any way!



I also went and talked to Mr 15's guidance counselor and found out that he is really doing very well. Is is by no means a honor student but his first year of high school is going well.

So Mr 15 will stay right were he is. Mr 13 will spend the rest of the year with me to figure out how he can catch up and show the education system how smart he really is and Mr 11, well I am not sure about him. He is begging me to let him stay home and after yesterday I am considering it. I am feeling like some of the problems I have had over the last couple of years are simply because "middle school sucks!" in general. I am thinking that maybe it would be best for my 6th grader to skip the rest of these crappy years where so many bad behaviors are exposed and learned and try again in a couple of years. We shall see.

I have one more full week of break and am enjoying every minute of it! In fact I think I am going to go sit on my couch and watch a movie in peace now before I have to go pick the kids up again!

Believe... Prayer Works!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012.... A Year of New Beginnings

Wow I can't believe another year has come and gone. Beginnings

This year was a good one full of many changes and much healing! We started the year with a trip downtown with friends, the flu, and a new hobby of couponing. We played in the snow and Makenzie got her first ever award at school. The boys also started hockey the beginning of this year.




 


Mr 11 particitpated in Destination Imagination and Makenzie and I took our first road trip in March to Texas to be in Ms. Stephanie's wedding. Makenzie was the most beautiful flower girl ever and we had so much fun!



Makenzie also worked really hard on talking with her eye gaze and driving her power chair in 2012 and on March 25th we celebrated the aniversery of Makenzie's accident with a huge celebration of life party!


Mr 11 also had another bout of infection in his gut but before the year was through, after another PICC line, IV antibiotics, a blood clot, and blood thinners, and the removal of an appendix, he was given a clean bill of health! God is so very good!

 

Makenzie loved her walker this year and also loved her very first field trip to the farm with all of her friends!  This year Makenzie also finished her very first full year of school with a program and my oldest moved from middle school to high school.


 



We celebrated summer birthdays outside on the deck. Makenzie turned 7 this year. Ms Stephanie came to visit, we went to Elitches, picnics, out for ice cream, and swimming. The summer also brought Makenzie a Sleep Safe bed and for the first time since her accident she started sleeping away from Mommy in her own bed.


  




Makenzie had another great go at eating by mouth this year! She rocked it out but in true Makenzie fashion decided that it was fun but she was done. We continued the blended diet this year and Makenzie continues to grow and thrive.



I learned how to make big bows that Makenzie now touts on the top of her head and right before school started Makenzie gave the trike another go and took off. We went to the mountains for a family reunion and school started along with Mr 15's first season of high school football. 



 



In September I went back to school, Grandma Linda got married and Makenzie was riding and driving all over her school. We made it through another election, Makenzie learned how to do the dishes, and found out that soon Makenzie will be receiving her very own trike.




My newest neice was born this year and I got to take pictures of her several weeks after her birth. 



We made it through Christmas and had a real tree for the first time. We started some new tradidtions and spent a lot of time with family and friends. We ended the year with a movie and dinner and sleep over in the livingroom waking up to a new year. 


 



 

2012 has been a year of new beginings. It was a great year! Makenzie is doing so well and I feel nothing but blessed that she is who she is. It has been a long journey but God has provided all that we have ever needed! 

2013 is going to start with a bang and then we will all go back to school. Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers, in 2012! It was a great year!

Believe... Prayer Works!

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