Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
(Owen decided to sleep during all the fun this year.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009


These two pictures will always be near and dear to my heart as many others will be.

This was going to be a journal entry but I felt an impression to blog it. I wish I had a better way with words as so many of you bloggers do.

The fact of the matter is we are doing great but great is only our interpretation of life. Our home has never been filled with so much love, happiness and peace. We have once again been reminded how precious life is and how much we take for granted. Owen has never been happier. The last few weeks he really hasn't stopped smiling and we go to him to draw our strength. He is showing signs of being weaker, which breaks our hearts but his spirit is even stronger than before. The truth is, our lives and our family would be empty without Owen. We know one day he will be gone and we will have to draw our strength from our Heavenly Father alone. We know Owen will always be somewhere near.

We really are doing well and as Owen loses the ability to move his wrists and fingers, he has gained more mouth movement. It is so cute and funny. When I pick him up to hold him he makes 'kissy' sounds. Last night he played with his tongue more than he ever has. I could not stop laughing, and he knew HE was making me laugh. We enjoy and celebrate the small things.

All of our emotions have re-surfaced the last few days after being asked to talk to a PICU family facing some of the very same decisions we had to. Our hearts are broken for them. Whoever imagines having to decide to deal with death now or later for their baby? When you are going through it yourself it is so hard and you just hope and pray nobody else has to go through it, even though many families do. Please pray for this family, that they will have the spirit of peace with them as they face this difficult decision with their sweet little angel.

I can't imagine my life without be blessed with Owen. Yes, it would be much easier, less stressful and more normal. I would have missed out on so many things had this special boy not been brought into our lives. We don't know how long he will be here on earth with us but I pray we will never forget the lessons we have learned from him. We have been so blessed with the many people he has brought into our lives. It makes me think of the lyrics from the Dance by Garth Brooks. "Yes, my life is better left to chance I could've missed the pain but I would have to miss the dance". Maybe those aren't exact but I would not have missed this dance for anything.
I have been asked if I get the chance to attend the temple? (Not really and I hope the Lord understands.) The friend who asked me this question later came to our house, as she walked in by Owen, she said "you don't need to go to the temple, you have the same feeling here." He really has lifted the spirit in our home. We are no where near perfection but Owen gives us a good reason to strive to do better.
I pray we are taking advantage of every moment we can with him and our other children. If I could just remember that tomorrow does not hold any promises for any of us. With the Christmas season here I just can not help but be thankful for and to my Savior for blessing me with the life that he has.

I bought this wall hanging set before Owen came to the family, I finally hung them up last spring. After I hung them, I stepped back to make sure they were straight. As I read the words in the order I put them I was struck with the realization that I had put my children in order without knowing it.
This last spring when Owen had not done well, and it seemed we couldn't get him healthy and keep him that way I had a feeling to talk to Bentley. I worry about him because he has such a soft heart but tries to hide it like his Dad. One day Abby was with Lenn so I took the opportunity to talk to Bentley about Owen. I asked him if he ever worried about when Owen passes away, or if it scared him? His answer blew me away and I knew why I had a strong impression to talk to him. He said, "no, won't he be resurrected just like Jesus?". I was shocked! No wonder we are told to have the faith of a child.

I have wanted to plant a little grove or garden in honor Owen. After talking with Bentley we both walked outside to look for the perfect spot to plant the trees. I thought of putting it in a quiet corner, but Bentley said why don't we put it somewhere where Owen can go when he gets older? With that in mind we planted the trees out front, just off from sidewalk.

The day before Owen had his first birthday Lenn's cousin came to visit. Abby does not know him well. When he came in, Abby quietly asked me if he was the man coming to take all of Owen's machines aways. I told her no and asked why. She replied, 'because tomorrow he is turning one'. She has always had hope that her little brother would one day give all of his machines away and run off and play with her.
Owen's love that he brings to the family does not need a story behind it. When we think of Owen we just feel love.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Abby the witch~Owen, Wyoming's Cowboy Joe~Bentley the Old Man. I think they turned out pretty cute considering they all came about within 24 hours of dressing up!Bentley eating his mummy pizza.
Abby showing hers off. They had fun making these and they were really easy.
Owen helping make doughnuts. He didn't like cutting them out but he liked the feel of the dough.
Bentley making sure his are cut out just right! He is so precise sometimes.
Abby making sure she was doing it just right.
We carved pumpkins this last week. Abby started asking about carving pumpkins in August. Bentley carved the wolf, we were all pretty impressed. I not sure about the face though!
Lenn carved the smiley face and Abby and I did the witch. Owen slept and was quite happy to do it. He didn't want anything to do with that slimy stuff from the pumpkin.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

The BIG Meeting!

We had an opportunity to attend the Mega Conference (a conference for those who deal with disabilities) in Casper, Wyoming. It was the second week in October and with the early flu season we didn't know if we would be able to go or not. There were two reasons for going. First, we were going to be given an award for excellence for supporting and being dedicated to our special little man Owen. Second, we would be able to meet some very special people in our lives whom we have only spoken to through email or over the phone. Last minute we decided to go because we may not have the opportunity again.
We are so glad that we went, the people we met were amazing, they are the ones who got us home with what we needed for Owen. We are sure there are many that helped that we didn't meet, but the ones we did were those who really worked hard without giving up. We are so thankful them still today.
Owen sportin' the shades on the way to Casper.
Charla (Children's special health), Owen and Sam (Governor's Council for people with disabilities). Meeting these two was more than incredible, they were the ones who put their jobs on the line to get us home. THANK YOU!
Donna (former March of Dimes), Owen and Sam. Donna found a grant for us to help pay our rent while we were in the Ronald McDonald House in SLC. We were so happy to meet these two ladies. When we felt like giving up they wouldn't let us. They kept telling us not to take 'no' for an answer. Without these two special 'hero's' we wouldn't be where we are today, home in Cokeville. They fought the battle when we were too weak to do it ourselves. Thanks Sam and Donna, you will always be in our hearts.
Abby playing with Owen at the banquet, and Owen is loving every bit of it.

Lenn trying to escape the camera. I got him anyway,
and Bentley wanted this picture to make the blog for sure.
That's a little better Lenn. I think he just wants to show off the facial hair. Bentley actually gave me a good smile.
Owen holding the award, look hard, it's clear.

Our family photo with Sam and Victor right before our lovely news appearance. Victor works with Sam and is the one who gave us our award.
Yes, I did say news appearance. Donna, bless her heart, grabbed the news reporters to ask us a few a questions and put our family on the Casper news. We were all a little embarrassed but I think Bentley and Abby would have crawled in a hole if there would have been one available.
We should be getting a copy of the news report, if we do we will try to put on our blog. We didn't know how to get it from the internet to here.
In the end we were very happy that we were able to make the trip and everyone traveled well. We had some great experiences and it was good to have Bentley and Abby around other people with disabilities and see what great people they are.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Football and Cousins

Bentley and his cousin, Braxton, faced off twice this year and it doesn't really matter what the score was, right? They both had a good time and both seem to have a love for the game. When they played in Mt. View most of their cousins were able to come watch them play, (even though they were more interested in the playground).Don't worry Owen isn't about to miss out on the football, at least he can dress the part. Go Pokes!
Owen and his cousin Camree, they are three days apart and this is their first meeting. They were at Primary's together but they were in different parts of the hospital.

Owen and his newest cousin, Camden. Owen is not the happiest, but is trying to figure out who is on his lap.
Owen made it to all of Bentley's games this year. We were so happy to be able to support Bentley as a whole family. The last game started out hot but ended oh so cold, but it didn't bother Owen a bit, I just bundled him up good and he enjoyed the whole game.
If you noticed the lack of pictures of Abby, don't worry she was there too. I am just not sure where!!! She is miss social and there were too many friends to sit and watch Bentley. At least she knew his number and saw a few of his good plays. For Homecoming week her class made little Panther flags and she made a 'go 20' for Bentley and then painted her face the same. I guess that is supporting her brother.
Lenn helped coach the team and I think he enjoyed it even though he wouldn't get in the team picture for the paper. He did a great job.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Bentley and Pee Wee Football

Bentley turned 9 last Monday! He wanted a football cake so Gayle and I came up with this one. I know, I know Texas beat Wyoming but we can still have a Cowboy cake. All that matters is the smile behind the cake.

Bentley is playing peewee football this year. Cokeville lets the third graders play because the sixth graders have to make numbers on the jr high. He is number 20 in black and orange.

Here is Bentley scoring against Rich in the B game. He has scored three times in the B game. The first was against Mt. View and then Rich. On Saturday in Mt. View, Bentley scored on a sixty yard scamper.

Here he is handing the ball off.

In the A game making a tackle.

Bentley starts on defense as a inside linebacker, and comes in for running back for the A game.

Monday, August 31, 2009

1417 miles and we made it in one piece!

We are heading on a vacation, yes a vacation. One of my least favorite doctors at primarys told me that if we take Owen home we will never have a vacation. So this is for my two buddies at primarys..

August 17, I rented an RV and wanted to get started on our big adventure. Realizing we were not packed and the night I would probably have, we waited for the next day.

August 18: We left for Sheridan around 9 am. We traveled up through Jackson and had lunch there. During the first few hours of the trip, Abby would keep reminding Owen that we were going the opposite way from the doctors.

Gayle, Bentley, and Abby in front of the Tetons.

Traffic came to a stand still just before Moran Jct, I figured it was a wreck until the park ranger told us there was a bear. So Gayle and the kids played tourists and got out to take a picture. Park rangers have to be so patient, they were telling the crowd that the bear had run off a pack of wolves to eat this dead elk. One guy pipes up and asks what runs off bears, confused the ranger told him another bear. Gayle and I laughed for the next couple of hours on how I would have responded to the curious little mans question. I more than less would have calmly said " my dense little friend, beings a bear is almost at the top of the food chain, a rifle would probably run that bear off."

Here is Old Faithful, and it is still faithful. It would let out a little steam every now and again and my poor 6 year olds attention span was running thin. After every spurt Abby would look back at us and say " was that it?".

It was nice that I had already been to Yellowstone, so I could stay in the rv and tend Owen. We got Owen out at really big stops but most of the time it was Gayle and the kids. We got the kids some cameras so that they could take their own pictures. You would have thought that film was going to expire, poor Abby would take pictures while she was walking. I guess that was the fun in having them. We stayed the night in the park on the East side to give us a head start to Cody.

August 19: We started the morning checking out the falls in Yellowstone and then headed to Cody. We stopped in Cody for lunch and some quick shopping. This picture is forever in my mind called anxiety pass, because that is what it gave me. We went through Lovell and there was a flashing sign saying steep grades ahead, super trucker me thought I have seen all kinds of steep grades. Let me tell you this is the most extreme grade road I have ever been on! We stopped twice to let the motor home cool down and calm my nerves. We pulled the pass doing a whopping 15 miles an hour.

At the top of anxiety pass we saw this sign. Gayle looked over at me and said " that is the reason we haven't passed any campers." There was a reason they had three runaway truck ramps and two brake cooling pull offs. The smart rv'ers went down to Greybull and took the easy pass over the hill. We got down off the beautiful bighorn mountains and went into Sheridan. Having a camper night the night before we got a room in the motel where our calves were selling the next day.

August 20: Our calves sold and I am still trying to figure out if it was the trip or the price that our calves sold for, that was causing my nausea. Probably the price, so we headed to Gillette where mom and dad had been staying. Their motel had a water park built in it so we stayed the night with them and went swimming.

We put Owen on some blankets and on a table next to the pools. He was content as a bug.

Bentley and Abby on the lazy river. They tried to wear out the slides before we left.

August 21: We woke up to an alarm on Owens concentrator. It was the first machine malfunction of the trip. I had packed some tanks but only enough to get us home, not go on with our adventure. We called around to some of the home medical supply places and lincare offered to sell us some tanks but we had to have a prescription. We called our Dr in Evanston and the first thing she did when she got to her office was call lincare. I think Depalma was sent to Evanston for a reason and we are extremely grateful for her. We had issues with lincare trying to get Owen home, surprisingly they helped us out and brought us more tanks.

Devils tower was simply amazing. I was going to skip this stop because it was off the beaten path, but I am glad I didn't. That huge pillar of rock is like I said, amazing.

Off to South Dakota we went. Wondered why all the bikers go to Sturgis, stopped in Keystone and finally made it to the presidents. That is the first time for all of us and it was amazing!

Crazy horse monument is ten miles down the road so we stopped there. I turned at the light figuring on getting a picture and not paying to get in. Well someone was thinking that same thing because there is a median in the road leading up to the pay booths. Dukes of hazard was running through my mind until the nice man at the booth let us go in for nothing. So that saved the motorhome from jumping the mound and flowers in the middle of the road.

We stayed that night in Custer, SD.

August 22: We got up and headed for home. We made a few stops in Wyoming and finally pulled into our yard at 9 pm.

Other than the concentrator, Owen and his machinery worked flawlessly. He would get upset when we stopped, he liked looking out and the vibration of the road. We saw some really pretty country; the kids saw a lot of animals in the park; I know for a fact that an RV can make it up the pass between Lovell and Sheridan; and I could move tomorrow to the black hills, some thing about rolling hills and junipers that beckons my soul.