Monday, December 31, 2007

CHEERS!

I'm ringing in the New Year early tonight with a fizzy glass of Pink Grapefruit Airborne! Best flavor there is, I'm told, so this morning I purchased 4 packages.

My little family celebrated the Christmas season fully for the first time in 4 years, though it was not without cost. In the last 5 days, Logan has been to the ER twice with fever, plus nausea, cough and cold symtoms and ear infections. We found out today that Jarid probably has a bleeding ulcer. Ouch! We hope to have it cauterized by the end of the month. Julian has a severe cold and cough, high fever and nausea tonight.

So far I remain untouched. I probably owe it to the pack of Airborne I almost finished over the weekend and a HUGE blessing from above. I'm holding down the fort like every good wife and mother does whether they are well or ill.

This season has been full of fun, family and friends for all four of us! It was more than a choice experience to share it all with Logan! Thank you for all your love and support. We have the best friends and family in the 'verse!

Special note: Some have asked how to post a comment and I LOVE hearing from you. Just click on the post comment link at the end of the entry. I've made it so that anyone who can view this blog can also post comments.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! It's going to be a GREAT one!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

THE JOURNEY

Recently, the pastime that lifts me most on a down day is noticing the beauty of God's creations. Fortunately, and not by accident, I've had my camera with me on these occasions. What a high it is to digitally capture the majesty of the sky!

On my way home from work one day, I needed to relax a bit, so I took a "long-cut" home. I was on my way to a road I'd imagined would be great for pictures. The snow-trimmed trees that had been frozen in place for a few days were sure to melt soon, so I jumped at the opportunity. (Thanks, Mom, for watching my kids an extra 20 minutes or so that day! You are a great blessing to me. I love you very much.)

As I wound around the icy roads to my destination, I was compelled to stop several times because the clouds in the sky became facsinating.




Stillness






At the top of the hill, I stopped at the temple. It struck me that the grounds appeared pure and white.
Dressed in White


Across the road, the valley of frosted housetops appealed to me, but the westward view toward the lake was stunning.

Ripples from the West

To the east the vast and majestic mountain-valley view caught my eye.

Spacious

A few days later, as the kids and I left the orthodontist's office, color in the sky attracted me. We walked behind the building to witness a breath-taking sunset. The longer we stood in the chill of winter, the warmer and brighter the sky became.

Glowing Sunset

I did finally reach my planned destination after school that day, but it wasn't near what I'd thought it might be. I guess sometimes it's the journey, what we see along the way, that brings us the most happiness.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Santa is Alive and Well!

Guess what we got in the mail yesterday? The kids were SUPER excited. Can you see the Postmark?Inside was this note...And this gift card!

THANK YOU, SANTA!!!
From: Jarid, Cecilia, Julian and Logan

P.S. The kids are wondering if you are still going to bring them presents on Christmas eve. :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Our Neigborhood Today

I absolutely love the first day after a snowstorm! The air is crisp and clear. A blanket of freshly fallen snow veils the shriveled grass and dirty streets. Even the scraggly, bare-branched trees are made over into beautifully sculpted stanchions to display the bright, crystalized vapor. The world seems clean again.

Today was a day like that, except it kept lightly snowing all day, so the sky wasn't blue yet. While I scooped and tamed the powder on the sidewalks and driveway, the kids re-discovered the childhood joy of snow. Tomorrow the sky will be bright blue and the snow will melt off the trees as sparkling droplets of ice cold water.





Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dream Kids

It was 5:30 on a Saturday morning. She was awoken by the sound of playful children in the room above her bedroom. This had been a frequent occurance during the past week. She was getting used to it, but on this particular morning she was exhausted. She'd worked well past midnight helping a good friend. She enjoyed helping this friend very much because...well...it was enjoyable. Although she knew it was probably a futile attempt, she sighed, took a deep breath and cleared her mind in an attempt to drift back to sleep. She dosed in and out, mostly out.
During a moment of peaceful slumber she was again awoken, this time by movement on the bed. Two children had crept into her room wondering if she was almost ready to fix their breakfast. Moments later they left, somewhat disappointed that they'd be on their own this morning.
After several hours of fitful sleep and having finally succumbed to the fact that she'd be tired today, she got out of bed, slipped on some clothes and went upstairs. The rooms were quiet. Maybe the children are hiding, she thought. It was a favorite game of theirs. She discreetly avoided the places where they would be hiding and walked around pretending to look for them.
Suddenly she heard whispers in her daugther's room. She gently tried to open the door so she could peek in on the children's game only to find that the doorway was blocked. Then came a whisper, "Look on the table first."
She turned and went to the diningroom table. On it had been placed a bowl of her regular fiber cereal with milk and a plate with a hard boiled egg and salt sprinkled on the side. Near the dishes were two well-designed heart-shaped cards. On them were written simple words of adoration and gratitude.


She hugged her beautiful children, thanked them and ate the healthful breakfast. Then, she thanked them again. They reponded with, "We love you SO much! You do SO much for us!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

4 Year Anniversary

The host remembers 11/11/03.

Though I did not include in this podcast the spiritual experience we had on Thursday in the doctor's office before Dr. Whiting ordered the first blood test or my experience with my good friend, Linda, on Saturday morning during a training meeting at school, I remember them as if they were yesterday.  I will be eternally grateful for Dr. Whiting's expertise and 'prompting' and Linda's unfailing support.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

This Time Last Year: Unrase The Picture!

At one point during the hospital stay, Logan's IV line was "un-hooked" so he was somewhat mobile. I had taken a picture of his infected area. It was the kind of sight that is painful to look at it, but at the same time you can't stop yourself from looking. He wanted me to erase it. You can see what a tough kid he is to walk and laugh through the the pain. This is by far my all-time favorite video of Logan! When I need to cheer up it always does the trick.


video

This Time Last Year: Hair Loss

While in the hospital with the infection, Logan was barely able to walk due to the pain "down there." When you spend 24-7 in a small room with a child you are bound to have some very special conversations. One of them was just after Halloween.

Logan and I were discussing how his hair was falling out again. I asked him what he thought about it and he told me he would sing a song about it. He had such a positive attitude and it was such a great song that I pulled out my camera and asked him to sing it again. It was even better the second time. Some of you may remember me sending the lyrics by email, but it's much better coming straight from Logan. (Sorry it's side-ways. I don't have a program that can fix it.)

video

Monday, November 05, 2007

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW!

Some of you might remember that last Halloween Logan was in the hopsital with a very painful and serious infection. The people up there are great, though. Jarid and I were able to wheel Logan's bed and IV pole around the halls of the cancer unit and Trick-or-Treat to volunteers who were set up with loads of candy in the hallways.
This year he was a ball of energy! He excitedly went to school to participate in the school Halloween parade and class party. Then Grandpa and Grandma Patty drove him up to Primary's for some IV chemotherapy. Almost as soon as he got home we left for the ward Halloween party and Trunk-or-Treat(from the backs of cars in the parking lot.)
While there we heard there was a care center all ready for trick-or-treaters, but not many were going. So, we went over and visited them. Julian gave a grandma with Alzheimers a huge hug. I'm sure the woman thought she was her grandaughter and that I was her daughter. We left not only with candy, but with a warm feeling in our hearts.
Last year, Julian spent Halloween with her cousins. I didn't get to see her until the next day. This year I did her make-up on three occasions and took her trick-or-treating in the park after school. FUN!!
My photographer friend took a picture of me (dressed as a biker in Jarid's gear) with a real live biker who was handing out candy at the park. I'm pretty sure he was safe. I'll get the picture from her and load it later.


BTW, Jarid went to work dressed as a Sheriff's Deputy. Hehehe!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Row Yer Boat

My first experiment using Audacity.

Hey! It worked. I wish I'd warmed up my voice and practiced a little. :-)

Now that I've figured out how to do this on my PC, I can re-ignite the Carterista Podcast! Is that applause I hear?? HAHAHAHAHA!


Friday, October 12, 2007

An October Christmas Gift!

On Tuesday night, my mom's brother Uncle Jim, and his wife Aunt Jean, stopped at the Farmhouse on their way through Utah to visit my parents. All the family in the area gathered for dinner, good company and, as always with Uncle Jim, great story-telling!

Mom made dinner exactly like Grandma Southward would have made it. She even used Grandma's own pans. Stories were told about grandpa and others.

At one point, Logan shyly approached Uncle Jim and whispered in his ear, "Are you Santa Claus's helper?" Uncle Jim's face brightened as he answered in his deep voice, "Why, yes, I am. Would you like to see a picture of me when I'm helping Santa?" Logan nodded as Uncle Jim reached into his pocket, pulled out a small metal box, opened it and produced the most wonderful picture. In awe, but deeply satisfied Logan walked away with picture in hand.

In truth, Uncle Jim and Aunt Jean are both Santa's helpers. They graduated from a special Santa's Helpers School in Canada several years ago and built a Santa's Workshop in the storefront next door to their own business offices in California. Each year they open their arms and hearts to children, especially those with diablities, who are much more comfortable in their presence and on his lap than they would be at any mall. And when they tug on his beard, he doesn't mind and it doesn't come off !!

Later, the kids had great fun playing games on the front lawn in the dark with only the glow of the porch lights. Just before we had to leave, Uncle Jim showed the kids magic tricks and the kids showed Uncle Jim some magic tricks, too! It couldn't have been a more perfect evening...a Chirstmas gift in October.

The Law of the Garbage Truck

I didn't write this and I don't know who did. But, I completely agree with it and I'm on the lookout!!! :-)

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she/he can get back her/his focus on what's important.

Five years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a taxi cab in Indianapolis. Here's what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Indianapolis Airport. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly.

So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it.
And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did.

So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck." I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense,"the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well, now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

First Frost 2007

The kids and I were excited this morning to find a
beautiful frost covering everything in sight.
Among the most interesting were these
patterns of frost crystals.
Can you guess the surface on which they formed? :-)


Saturday, September 29, 2007

FARMHOUSE HONEY HARVEST

This is the honey that bees make.



These are the combs that hold
the honey that bees make.




This is the hot-knife that removes the caps
from the combs that hold
the honey that bees make.

This is Ben who chews on the wax(YUM!)
that is cut from the combs
that hold the honey that bees make.













This is the barrel that spins the combs
to release the honey that bees make.




These are the kids who turn the handle
on the barrel that spins
to release the honey that bees make.














This is the bucket that catches the honey
from the barrel that spins
to release the honey that bees make.

This is the story of how the Carter's made Honey with Uncle Ben at the Farmhouse. :-)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

GUNS AND ROSES!!

Well...I've been sort of a blog-slacker lately, but I have NOT been a mom-slacker, wife-slacker or PE teacher-slacker. Life is hard work, you know! So, instead of cleaning the bathrooms, I'll take a break in blog world for a little while. :-)

A couple of Saturday's ago, I went to the Utah County Firearms range with my mom. This was a follow-up to a class that we'd taken the previous Thursday. It was for women only and it was called "Guns and Roses." During the class we were shown how to load and unload 3 hours worth of different types of guns. Now, you may not think this would be a very exciting class, but really...what would you do if you lived in Spanish Fark and your kid came home with a shotgun he found in the neighbor's barn. Man alive! You'd need to do something about it! So now I can, even though I don't expect it to happen in the civilized city of PG. Hahahahaha!

So, back to Saturday. We went up to the range near Thistle to practice loading shotguns. We also practiced unloading them mainly in the direction of bright orange clay pigeons which were launched into the air. Now, if this is something you've never done before, you are REALLY missing out!! With my adrenaline pumping and a sincere desire to be the best shooter in the group, I picked up that shotgun and I WAS WOMAN!!! I hit 4 out of the first 5 pigeons! Was it beginner's luck? IT WAS NOT!!! By the end of the morning both mom and I were inducted into the Five for Fivers group of elite women who could shoot a perfect five in a row. Pretty nifty, eh? We were even given roses and a clay pigeon memoir. :-) That's me in the first picture and mom in the second.



















So, if you don't know The Firearms Safety Rules or the difference between a clip and a magazine or that there are pump-action shotguns, break-actions shotguns, can't remember the other-action kind of shotgun, double barrelled and single-barrelled shotguns, as well as muzzle-loaders, hunting rifles, target rifles, sniper rifles, single-action and double-action revolvers, semi-automatics, etc. then maybe you should sign up for a class like this!

Plus, the scenery up there is fabulous this time of year!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Long-Awaited First!!

After being isolated for the most part from the rest of society for nearly 4 years, our little Logan made his debut into the 'real world.' Because of his chemotherapy treatments for leukemia, Logan has never been in a organized environment with so many other children, yet he was excited to see what this "school" thing was all about. He'd heard many stories, of course, from his sister Julian and he'd seen countless episodes of children's shows depicting the experience.

That first morning he did not appear to be nervous in the least and didn't even mention his prior concern about bullies. With big sister Julian and Grandma Patty by his side he crossed the street and entered into new territory. It was sure to be an adventure!

Logan's blood counts have been high enough for him to attend for the past 7 school days. Even though he is likely to miss some days of Kindergarten when the chemotherapy is doing it's hardest work, we hope those days will be few.

Grandma Patty has been attending school with Logan to help the teacher(who is fabulous) get used to all of his 504 Accomodations and to be a support to Logan. She is now known as the Kindergarten Grandma(a.k.a. KG) and is an invaluable help to the teacher not only with Logan, but with the other children as well.

Some have commented that I have an angel for a mother. Nothing could be more true! It's only because of her that I finally feel like I have my feet on solid ground. What a blessing she is!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

CABIN FEVER!!!

This past weekend we had the rare opportunity to make an impromptu trip up to Jarid's parents' cabin...just the four of us. The last time we went up was last fall. (You may remember out Christmas card picture.) We had a great time relaxing, reading, playing, riding and having fun together!

Here is a picture of the view from the main deck of the cabin and one of the same view through binoculars. Fun, huh? It would be easier if my camera had cool lenses, but I love my camera just the same!











Here is a picture taken of the interior of the cabin from the main deck. Isn't it great? Julian is standing in front of the bear Grandpa Carter shot many years ago. That was before he started shooting only pictures. :-)

Here's Logan looking large and in charge on the side deck. This is where chipmunks are frequently seen scampering through the decorative rocks in from of the front steps.


The first day the kids went on a 4-wheeler ride with Jarid. They are always up for a ride! They like him to do tricks at a little clearing where the dirt trails are like a rollar-coaster ride.




I barely caught the sunset after watching a silly movie with Jarid.



Before bed we roasted marshmallows in a cool portable fireplace on the main deck. I made sure I had all the ingredients for s'mores. I think I'm the only one who really liked them, though.
On the second day I took the kids on an adventurous 4-wheeler ride to "The Lookout." Check out the serene view! You can see miles and miles of untouched wilderness up here.


Jarid and I would really like to make a trip up here on our own soon, but I also think it would be great fun to host a Girl's Get-Away! Let me know if you are interested. It's an hour from my house, plus another 20 minutes up the mountain. Now, doesn't that sound like fun??