Sunday, December 19, 2010

Light Contest

I have taken up a new hobby this year.....hanging, stringing, pretty much buying Christmas lights. Rocky mountain power employees I will leave my address later in the post for thank you notes.. I got a hunkering to put up lights this year and boy did I. Now the participation part, all of you get to guess how many twinkling things there are and you might win a prize.

This is one of my greatest creations for the year, my stable and star! Had to get the true meaning of Christmas in my decorations this year.

This picture was taken before I got my deer and nativity set up.

Here is the final view.
I have to tell the story of buying the deer. Allwest had a trencher that broke down in front of my house this fall. Being an eyesore, the ole ditch witch trencher was going to get into my decorations. I bought two male deers, some white lights for reins, and some motion lights to go around the tracks. I was looking for a santa to put in the seat and some presents to put on the roof of it. Long story short, it was good that I had to take some calves to Riverton. Cause when I got home from that trip the allwest boys were here working on it and ended up taking it home. So no trencher santa sleigh for me this year! Now I have two male deers! Had to take one back and get a doe, really don't want to send the wrong message in my front yard..
I am adding a few more every day but I am doing the competition as to the lights you see in the pictures. I am working on something for Landry. I guess to be honest I was really hoping he would see the ole house from heaven...

Monday, December 6, 2010


Owen's Thanksgiving story hour. It was the week before but isn't he cute in his pilgrim hat?All dressed up and nowhere to go!! We spent Thanksgiving at home with just us again. We feel good about being hermits to help stay healthy. Unfortunately I only got pictures of Owen because Lenn was feeding the cows. Bentley and Abby were out sledding.Lenn has been working on lights for quite sometime. We restrained ourselves and held off lighting them until Thanksgiving night. They look great Lenn, thank you! The nativity came late so we will have to add that later.
That night we also put up the tree and decorated. Notice Lenn at the piano, no he doesn't play. Well he didn't play until Thanksgiving day when Abby taught him how to play 'Happy Happy Birthday'. Good job Lenn and Abby. Now he can play two songs. It was fun to listen to him play as we decorated the tree. Owen was amazed by the lights as always.
This year I decided to have a competition, that is one thing we do well, compete. We all made thankful lists and saw who could come up with the most. Bentley beat us all by a lot. I was impressed I was sure it would be between Lenn and me.
Some of the things on our thankful lists: people who got us home, people who help us stay home, good friends, Owen's equipment and doctors, family, the gospel, prophets, animals, our home and food. These were just a few since we all had around 100 except for Bentley. He had 132!! Good job Bentley!!
We do have a lot to be thankful for. We have had so many little miracles that we probably do not even recognize until later. For example, when we decided to trach Owen we were told he would spent most of the winters in the hospital. Well, he is almost 3 and he has spent one night in the hospital (knock on wood)! That is amazing! That night was to watch him after he had his adenoids out, ear tubes placed and a scope of his trachea. We are not lucky we are blessed. Another miracle is; almost every time Cokeville is out of power we still have power. We have only been out of power two times that were for a longer period of time. Even then we were able to stay home until it came back on. Today I may have found out one reason why this happens. I was talking to a sweet friend who told me whenever she is out of power she prays that she will stay powerless if Gayle has power. That is a friend!! Thank you. I know many prayers are said on our behalf and I would like to thank you for them. We feel blessed to have you all in our lives.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Owen's Big Boy Bed!

We are so blessed in so many ways, and another huge blessing came a few weeks ago.
Abby was playing and drawing with Owen while his new bed was moved in and this is the finished product. I think she did great and the cute thing is that she kept giving him choices and then she would color or draw his choice.
As I mentioned above, this is a huge blessing. I had been working with insurance companies and doctors to get Owen a new bed. What a pain, NOT on the doctors part! I heard others had had a hard time with this but I didn't realize the extent. After I got all the paperwork in we got a call from a girl Lenn went to school with. She works at the Evanston Hospital. She was asking us if we wanted one of the beds they were getting rid of. She suggested that we get our names on one just in case. They had asked us before but it was right after Landry passed away so we did not do anything about it.
We got the bed. We didn't realized how heavy it would be until Lenn went to get it. It took six men to load it in the truck. We weren't sure what to do now. We wanted to wait and see what the insurance company said, but we had to do something with this bed. We decided to bring it in and use it for the time being. We had help from six high school athletes, one of Lenn's tough friends :) and Lenn's Dad. It took all of them and Lenn's one arm to get it up on our deck and into the house. Thank you to all who helped. We really could not have done this without you.
A few days ago we got a letter from the insurance company telling us the bed was denied. We would have been devastated but instead we were thankful to have had a back up plan. Thank you again. While bringing the bed in, they had to tip it on its side and doing that did something to the bed. It did not work right. After all that work, now only the one side would lift. Lenn did a little thinking and then got under the bed with his helper Bentley. He was able to fix it and it is good as new. Thank you Lenn. He can fix just about anything!
Owen in his new big boy bed. A dream of any almost three year old boy, to have a bed that is a machine!! He likes it, mostly because he can watch TV from bed now.
The bed is in great condition and clean. The mattress even impressed Owens' physical therapist.
We are so thankful, he was almost touching both ends of the crib. A normal bed probably would have been the end of my back. Again we have been watched over and taken care of.

Bentley's Solar System

Bentley had to make a solar system for a school project and here it is. This ended up being a family project. The most impressive part is that is was done before it was due!!
Bentley was so funny he studied the pictures of the planets and then wanted to paint his planets identical to the pictures. That just doesn't happen in our household! He did a great job though!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A little of everything

I started on this post last night but got too tried and went to bed. This morning after checking a blog these pictures mean even more to me now. We have been following the Coleman's since there story ran on KSL. They are an SMA family so we feel somewhat connected to them even though we have never met. Their sweet Jonas was called back home to his Heavenly Father last night. Our hearts break for them. It is so hard to have a little one go. So please as you say your prayers, keep this family in them.

That being said...I love my children a little more today. Sadly I still have to be reminded that no one has a guarantee of tomorrow.

I take new pictures each fall. This year, for whatever reason, it got put off until we almost missed it. I told Bentley and Abby that we would hurry if they would cooperate. I got the above picture!!! Maybe we need a lesson on the meaning of cooperation?? I think it turned out cute anyway.
Owen can make the funniest faces. He makes us laugh all the time.

My sweet boy, red faced and all. This is our snuggle time almost every night. I don't love pictures of myself but I knew I would be devastated if I waited too long to get one, so I had Lenn take one. I am grateful that I did.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

~Halloween 2010~

We carved pumpkins on Friday. Abby was determined to do hers by herself and she did. She only wanted help once and I think she did a great job. Owen enjoyed the whole pumpkin experience this year too. He didn't mind his hands in the pumpkin goo and then he picked his pumpkins face. I drew different shapes on paper and then he chose the eyes, nose and mouth. He was pretty excited when each one was done. He would give us an approval smile.
Bentley is always bound and determined to carve a pumpkin that is above the easy level. Once again he did it. You cannot see it very well in the picture but it is a little monster and it turned out really cute. He did a great job. I would not have the patience, that is why Owen got the choices he got!!
Our annual jack-o-lantern pizza. This year we did not do all of our normal traditions because Lenn and Bentley were shipping calves and the day got away from us before we new it. Abby usually goes with the boys to do ranch stuff, but this time she decided not to. Friday night she said, "I know, how about I stay here with you and we can decorate." So cute, but pathetic that the little girl has to decorate for Halloween the weekend of. Pathetic on my part, but it was cute and she had a good time.
Abby the unicorn, Owen the giraffe and Bentley the cowboy. We had a fun time trick-or-treating and came home and went to bed.
Now bring on the Christmas music....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So fun!

Story time came to Owen today. We have a library in town and they always do such fun story time hours. One of the sweet librarians' decided she wanted to bring it to Owen each week. She is so thoughtful.
Today she read a cute Halloween book and then colored this scarecrow for Owen. We have been giving Owen more choices lately (he chooses with his eyes). She would hold up two colors and he picked the colors she used with his eyes. It was so fun to watch his eyes light up each time she finished coloring an area. Thank you. Speaking of choices, Owen chose his shirt again today. It was between his Wyoming shirt and a bright red and blue shirt. I even switched them to make sure, and yes he picked his Cowboy shirt!! Dad is going to be so proud!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

~six months~

I mentioned we would do something on Landry's 'would be 6 months old" day on the other blog. I wanted to post on our family blog because it is as a family that we remember our little angel. The plans intended for this day have been put off, probably until his first birthday for several different reasons. We improvised and had a good day anyway.
We went to the cemetery to visit and release balloons and then we went to eat in Garden City. We got back too late for cake and ice cream so we put that off until the next day.
If you look close Owen is actually smiling!!
Six balloons for six months for Landry. We always have to get extras for the other kids.Bentley releasing his balloons. We watched these balloons until they were less then a spec. Actually, everyone else did because I lost track of them pretty quickly!
We can't celebrate anything at our house without a cake. Lenn figures Landry is the only one who gets a cake for 6 months. I am not an artist but that is supposed to be a dragonfly on there.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What a good guy! Go Jimmie Johnson

"Cookies for Kids' Cancer Wins Additional $20,000
By Earning the Most Votes in Samsung Helmet of Hope for More

Jimmie Johnson Foundation surprises 2nd-place Gwendolyn Strong Foundation with an additional $20,000 grant after reading email exchange between the top-two charities

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 1, 2010) – Cookies for Kids’ Cancer became the deserving winner of an additional $20,000 grant after earning the most votes in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Samsung Helmet of Hope for More campaign.

Four-time reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson revealed the winner on Speed Channel’s “Trackside Live” program Friday evening. Johnson also surprised second-place finishing Gwendolyn Strong Foundation by announcing that it would also receive a $20,000 grant, a decision made after Johnson and his wife Chandra received an email exchange between the top two charities.

“We were part of an amazing email exchange between Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation that took place after the voting contest ended. Each charity could see their voting percentage tally online, and it was clear the contest was between these two organizations. On their own, they decided that regardless of which charity won, they would split the $20,000 grant,” explained Johnson. “Here are these two families who are each trying to raise money and awareness to help find cures for diseases that their own children are battling, and both of them are willing to give away half of the grant to help the other work toward their goal.”

“When we saw what a selfless decision that was and the sacrifice that each was willing to make, we really wanted to step up and do what we could to help each of these amazing organizations,” added Johnson.

The thirteen Samsung Helmet of Hope charities each received a $10,000 grant and placement on Johnson’s Sprint Cup Series race helmet for the Oct. 10 event at Auto Club Speedway. Each charity that elected to participate in the Helmet of Hope for More initiative then had the opportunity to Hope For More and win additional funding through the online voting contest.

Over 125,000 votes were cast during the three-week voting period, with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation earning more than 50% of the total votes. The two exchanged the lead daily throughout the event and were within a few hundred votes in the final days.

“This was the first year we had the Hope for More contest and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it turned out,” said Chandra Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. “We weren’t planning to award grants to two charities, but these two organizations put so much time and effort into the program, especially considering the families of each are battling to save their children’s lives. We are proud and humbled that we are able to help with their missions.”

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded by Gretchen and Larry Witt when their 2-year old Liam was diagnosed with a deadly form of pediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma. Their family learned quickly it is a cancer that only about 30% of children survive, and that pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 18. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s top priority to develop new and better treatments for the children battling cancer around the world.
The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation was born out of Bill and Victoria Strong’s firsthand experience with their precious daughter, Gwendolyn. Gwendolyn was born perfectly healthy in October 2007, but was diagnosed with the terminal disease Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type I at 6-months-old. The Strongs are personally and passionately dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in raising awareness about and funding research for SMA and supporting families who are impacted by SMA and other life-altering diseases." The article can be viewed and

Thank you for all of you who helped vote. We love and appreciate each one of you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

If I can do this...anyone can!

These are legwarmers for babies. I made them in 25 minutes. If I can make them so can you.
I made them for a friend who started with a goal of 500 but now she is shooting for 1500 legwarmers to donate to the PICU at Primary Children's Hospital. That is where her little Makenzie spent her last days. Makenzie is her inspiration for this project. She is doing an amazing job in behalf of her little angel.
When I was out looking for socks they did not have any women's so I went to the girls section and thought I would try these. After I bought them I thought of all the newborns who end up in the PICU. My niece for one was only 7 weeks old. I think it is so hard for the parents to see their baby in a diaper only. With these legwarmers it will give those parents something to smile about.
To get the pattern and find out more visit her blog
If you don't sew at all you can buy them and donate too.

Thanks for your help. Also don't forget to keep voting to help fight SMA Vote for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Vote everyday until the 29th.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Owen's summer 2010

I promised a long over due update on it is. As I was going through the pictures from this summer I realized there were too many to post individually so I hope you can see them all.
This summer Lenn was gone most of the time so when he was home we decided to make the most of it. Owen has been healthy but you never know what tomorrow will bring. We wanted some family memories so we now have a few.
Owen is doing as well as he can. They are still surprised when we go to Primary's to see that he is doing so well. He does not have the reserve that he used to. He panics when the vent is disconnected for more than a few seconds. He cannot move his hands or fingers anymore. He can still barley move his ankle but his facial expressions are more than amazing. He gives us kisses, when he is in the mood. He is still such a blessing in our lives, and I would not trade him for the world.
1. Owen touched the temple. We had been wanting to do this and Owen was having an okay day so off we went. (After that he seemed to be back to normal, he so has our number.) 2. Owen petting a baby goat. 3. Owen saying hello to his Dad after a long time of being gone. 4. He made it to a few of Bentley and Abby's softball games. 5. We got brave and took Owen to a movie. Yes, a movie and he loved it, then we went to eat and hurried home.
1.What big sister can resist in dressing up her little brother. He loved the flower in his hair, or maybe it was the fact that Abby was laughing and giving him all the attention she could. 2&3. We went to the park and Owen loved watching the leaves rustle in the trees. 4. Abby let him help her stir her cup cake mix. He was not real sure about that. 5&6. Bentley and Abby were playing with the camera while I was holding him and the pictures turned out great. 7. Grandpa Johnson loves playing with Owen and Owen loves it too! 8. I can just imagine what he is thinking with Abby and Olivia kissing him at the same time. 9. We even took Owen to the Demolition Derby. He loved the noisy cars!
1. Owen loves Bentley. 2. Owen got used to his new stander and loves being in it now. 4. Owens' eyes. We don't get to enjoy these as much as I would like so I love this picture. His eye lids are getting weaker, especially his left one. In this picture you can't tell. Aren't they beautiful? 5. Owen loves to watch us help him color.

1. Kynlee kissing Owen's hand. Owen's cousin loves him and is beginning to show it. When she comes she wants to get to baby Owen. One night while she was drinking her bottle she had to pat and rub Owen's hand. It was so cute. 2. Owen has learned to show off his front teeth and he thinks it is funny. 3. Kynlee asking Owen if he wants "more" of her drink. 4. Owen looking to see if his lights are on. 5. Owen giving his best smile.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SMA Blog Party

We are invited to join the SMA Blog Party, and you are too! It sounds crazy to have Party and SMA in the same sentence. Who would want to celebrate the number genetic killer in children under the age of two? Well no one is celebrating, just trying win another contest to raise money for the cure and raise awareness.

Our SMA story...
It started January 3, 2008 when Owen was born. He couldn't cry, he couldn't move and no one knew why. We were in shock, we were heartbroken and could not believe what we were now experiencing.
They drew Owen's blood, did CAT scans, EMG test and in the end found nothing with an exact diagnosis. The blood tests came back negative or unconfirmed. We had a indescribable feeling that we should trach Owen, so he is still with us today.

Two years later on March 30, 2010 Landry was born. He was a little stronger but still very weak. We chose differently with Landry. We chose to bring him home to love and cherish, rather than have our family spilt and him being poked and prodded. Some people don't agree with our choice and it may have been different if we had any answers with Owen but we feel good about the decision we made. Landry earned his angel wings on April 21, 2010.

Just recently we spoke with a genetic counselor and the neurologist and to put it plain and simple they just don't know. This is motor neuron disease and it has SMA all over it but it is an unidentifiable gene. Which means they do not know where to even begin looking for the mutation. The neurologist thinks it is x-linked SMA, very rare and very new. The x-linked gene was found the November before Owen was born. His mutation was not found on that gene. He more than likely has a form of SMA that has not been discovered.

When I think of that it makes me want to do all I can when I hear of these contests to raise money for research funding. If they can cure the more common forms of SMA than that brings them that much closer to find a cure for all the rest.

In the end, this disease has given us two beautiful children that have brought us so many blessings and heartaches. It has changed us forever and made us different people hopefully for life. We cherish more moments. We have more empathy for those going through hardships. We love each day just a little more. We try harder not to take everyday for granted. We love more. We believe more. We are closer.

That being said please vote for these precious babies and these families that endure this. What more of reason could you need? Look at these boys.

PLEASE VOTE: It’s really this simple –>
1. You can vote once EVERY DAY from now until September 29th at 5 PM EDT
Go to, select the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, enter the two security words, check the Official Rules box, and then click “Vote Now!”
2. That’s it! It’s really that simple
3. Don’t forget to add your name to the list so you don’t miss a $20K vote.
4. And…don’t stop there — SHARE!

Thanks in advance for the votes.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is here!

The headstone finally came and is in place. We could not be happier with how it turned out.
The picture of Landry is amazing, they did a great job on this. And yes, those are Landry's footprints. Aren't they cute?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

-Check this out-

My sister-in-law called me the other night to tell me about a family on the news. This family has a BEAUTIFUL little boy just older than Owen with SMA. At the time they were expecting a baby girl who would also have this devastating disease. She was born a few days later. If you want to see the video it is on, the story is called 'Family prepares to face rare disease for a second time.'
This family seems amazing!
An organization is doing a carnival in their behalf to raise money to help them with medical costs. They will be updating their blog with more info., if you can help this family visit their blog.
It seems crazy, but whenever we hear about another family in similar situations we feel so connected with them without even knowing them.

I know I haven't done an Owen update lately, but I promise one soon. (Just don't hold your breath.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School

Bentley and Abby went to there first day of school yesterday. I cannot believe summer is gone. Bentley is excited because his teacher like field trips. Abby is excited because she get the same teacher as last year and she spoils them.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Proud Moment

Yesterday at the fair Abby showed one of our baby goats in the open class. She was supposed to be in the unusual pet show but they put her in with the other goats. That was all good except the other goats were meat goats and Abby's was a 6 week old fainter. Needless to say there was a bit of a size difference. She did great!

Bentley showed in showmanship yesterday. He did a super job. Lenn and I were so proud of him. He was the grand champion junior showman. I was so excited for him that I could hardly go to sleep last night. Right before he went into the ring I told him the better he did the more premium money he would get. Well I lied to him, not meaning to of course, but here they gave a blue ribbon and a bucket for the grand showman. (Oops!) It made him smile at the judge anyway, right??

Today was the market classes. Bentley took third in his class, which was great. While he was showing he was in the first place position for a bit, then to second and at the last minute she switched him to third. I think the judge took the longest on that class deciding which one was better. We were actually shocked at how well Wilma did, because in July she decided to become anorexic for most of the month. We thought she would be a lot further behind the other lambs.

Bentley did great for his first year!