Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have a few random pictures from the last month that I wanted to get posted.  Eric gave Aubree a Father's Blessing right before she started school.  It doesn't get cuter than a little girl and her dad.  Aubree thinks Eric walks on water... They have such a cute relationship.
 Of course after Aubree got her blessing, the boys needed one too.
 I'm so grateful for Eric and the priesthood he holds.
 Before it has gotten too cold to hang out in swimsuits, the kids chalked it up outside for a while.
Jared loved "trying out" the chalk. 
Jared loves pears!  I really can't get enough of this boy.   Jared is getting closer to the age Andrew was when he died and he is bringing back so many memories of Andrew.  Aubree told me the other day that Jared's hands reminded her of Andrew's.  We are learning to love and appreciate every little things Jared does cause he reminds us so much of Andrew and has a really similar personality to him.  Jared is the best snuggler out of all of our kids.  He knows exactly what we needed.  
 For FHE a few weeks ago we taught the kids about putting on the armor of God.  The kids loved it.  This picture was of Travis with his "armor," right after Aubs had nailed him with a marshmallow (temptation).  
 Travis lives and sleeps in his Great Wolf Lodge hat.  He only takes it off for prayers, baths, church and now, swimming lessons.  It is so cute.
 Picture with our pumpkins before we carved them.  We have been so blessed with these awesome kids! (note: it has taken me close to 10 months to start using explanation points in my writing again)

 Carving pumpkins
 Aubree gutting hers.
 Jared trying to get his seeds out.
Tanner working on his pumpkin.  I didn't get a picture of Trav with his... 
 LOVE this boy!
We headed to a town carnival. Eric's mom made all of the kids their own scrubs for Christmas last year, so they all decided to be doctors/dentists.  Aubree even got to use Sara's old stethoscope.
 Andrew loved carving pumpkins last year.  He and Tanner were the only kids who would grab the guts of the pumpkins with their hands. Andrew had so much fun putting his hand in and throwing the seeds all over.  He is so stinkin' cute!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

6 Years!

This time of year we seem to have something we remember or celebrating every other week, whether it is a birthday or anniversary.  Yesterday happened to be Eric's 6 Year Anniversary of when he was diagnosed with cancer.  At the time we had been married about 2 and a half years and were approved for adoption.  I was working at Physical Therapy Aide and Eric was busy with school and track at WSU.  That day seems like forever ago.  It feels like we have lived multiple lives since then.  

Every year on Eric's Anniversary, I try to do something for him to celebrate his health and what we have learned.  This year it came up on me quicker than I anticipated, the kids and I made some last minute cookies yesterday morning and surprised Eric at school with them.  For FHE, I got out some of Eric's pictures and told the kids the stories of what their Dad has been through.  

He started chemo the end of Jan. '06 and was able to start pulling chunk of his hair our on Valentines Day.
 We just shaved his head after this, so we wouldn't end up with his hair all over.
 Nine weeks later this was Eric's last day of chemo.  It was nasty nasty stuff.  He had the same chemo that Lance Armstrong had.  He lost 20 pounds, all his hair, threw up many many times, his mouth/throat got covered in sores, got poked way too many times, got staph infection, spent a night in the hospital cause of the infection and his fever was so high, and many more things he never even told me about.  He would get so worn out from the most small tasks, like taking a shower or holding Aubree.
 He was able to make it back on the track 2 weeks later.  It was pretty inspiring.
 Eric even made it back to compete at the PAC-10 Championships.  He had quite a few newspaper articles and a couple news segments on his story.
 I threw a No-More Chemo Party the week after Eric finished.
The story doesn't quite end there.  About a year later, Eric had a routine cat scan that came back abnormal.  His blood markers were still all good (so the cancer wasn't back), but they had to remove a benign tumor that had wrapped itself around some lymph nodes and nerves in his abdomen.  The surgery was pretty invasive and he spent seven days in the hospital.
 This is a picture from one of those seven nights where they couldn't get a vein to get blood.  Eric was warming up his arms so they could have a better chance.  They got it on their 16th try.  Eric is so great!
Eric's body filled up with a bunch of fluid from his lymph system.  

I'm so grateful for Eric.  He never ever complains no matter what trials he is given.  He takes everything  and still smiles.  Eric is always looking for ways to help and serve people around him no matter how stinky he feels/felt.  He has so much love for everyone around him.  Eric really is my hero.  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Our 2 year old

 This last Wednesday (the 12th) we celebrated our Angel, Andrew's birthday.  He would have turned 2.  It was a difficult day for me, but Eric was able to take the day off from school, so that helped me a lot.  We decided a few weeks ago that on Andrew's birthday we would make it a day of service and a day as a family.
 My Mom spoiled the kids and sent them a box of toys and treats for them to open on Andrew's birthday.  We really appreciated her thoughtfulness.
My sister, Sara, works at a skilled nursing center and she set up a program with the activities director of the facility for us to do a program.  We made a bunch of cookies and sang a bunch of songs to all of the residents.  
Sara played her guitar for a few of their songs.  I was so proud of the kids.  They loved passing out the cookies.
Sara and the kids with a few of the residents.
We went and had a picnic together and each got a balloon for Andrew.  They each sent a "message" up with their balloon.
We put stuff together for a missionary box and thank you cards, and then for dinner we let the each of the kids make their own pizza.  Tanner couldn't keep his hands off his and ended up kneading all of the sauce into his dough.  He loved it.
We made Andrew a Birthday cake.  We had a special day remembering our Buddy Boy.  We spent time watching our video of Andrew from his funeral.  We did stuff all day to remember Andrew and to try to serve and love other people (which especially helped me to not dwell on our loss).
Andrew is such a perfect boy.  We are so grateful for the time we had with Andrew.  He has forever changed our family, and I'm so grateful for the knowledge we have that we will see him again.  I know we will.  I try to live everyday worthy of this perfect boy.  I miss him so much!
Happy Birthday, Buddy Boy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

3rd Year

I have taken a picture of Eric with the kids on the first and last day of each of his years of dental school so far. (I did a terrible job taking these pictures!)
 First day of 3rd year.  
Jared 1, Travis 3, Tanner 4, Aubree 5 (I am 3 months pregnant)
Last day of second year.
Jared 9 months, Travis 3, Tanner 4, Aubree 5
Sometimes I have nightmares that Eric would have to do 2nd year over again... 
First day of second year.
Jared 2 weeks, Andrew 11 months, Travis 2, Tanner 3, Aubree 4
Last day of first year.
Andrew 8 months, Travis 2, Tanner 3, Aubree 4 (I was 6 months pregnant with Jared)
First day of dental school.
Travis 1, Tanner 2, Aubree 3