Monday, August 31, 2009

thoughts on motherhood

Things that are disturbing to me as a Mom...

*Finding apple cores in the bathroom trash.
*Being told, 'don't worry! I found the turtle!'
*Having to tell a child to get the electric screwdriver out of their mouth.
*names written on the mirror in toothpaste
and soap
and crayon

Things about being a Mom that make my heart full...
*Crooked and toothless smiles.
*Contagious laughter
*Hearing my kids' interpretations of the scriptures they are studying on their own.
*Squeaky Clarinets (this is a new one)
*Late night serenades on the recorder.
*Hearing my kids tell me that I make their heart smile.

Things that break my heart...
*Sad and hurt crying and tears.
*Being told, 'It's all your fault!' (this has now happened twice)
*Seeing elements of my children's lives had negative effects on their self esteem...why can't we just keep them home ALL THE TIME?

Things I've learned since I became a Mom...
*Never say no when you can say yes. (Marjorie Hinckley)
*50% of the time, bedtime is overrated.
*Impromptu Slumber Parties are AWESOME!! Especially when I get invited. haha
*Enjoy today

The biggest one I've been thinking a lot about lately is a little personal, but I have to write it somewhere so I can hold myself accountable...

All of my friends are having babies again...or many of them. My baby died almost 8 years ago and I haven't become pregnant since, even through many fertility treatments and a major surgery too.

My friend just lost a baby prematurely and since I found out, I have been so sad for her and reliving Robert's death too. I have never had a miscarriage so I can't even imagine the pain that comes from one. Although my baby was born full term and I held him and saw him breathing, I didn't know him for long so I mourn what I think I am missing. I also find myself second guessing choices that we made at his birth that we KNOW were Heavenly Father's will for Robert and out family. Why do I do that?!

I am sad for the missing people at our dinner table...Robert as well as the 2 other spirits that I know in my heart are missing from our home. I am sad that my kids only have each other. I am also SO THANKFUL that Nicole and Matthew do have each other!

I guess what I have learned is something I have known for a while but I need to remind myself of...Robert is perfectly fine in heaven. I've had the thought for sometime that he is a mission companion with my Uncle Lyn. I'm sure they are having a great time up there.

I love every stage that my kids are in. Right now they are stretching boundaries, breaking rules, rolling their eyes are me and letting me know it's all my fault. At night I cry into my pillow and in the morning I try to start again. I tell myself that I am looking forward to the day when...____________________________you can fill in the blank, there are many things to put there. But really I love each day.

Okay, so I don't really know where this post is going, but like I said earlier, I just had to get it out there so I could read it and remind myself that I am happy, dang it!! Life really is good.

on a lighter note, here is the conversation I had with my kids on the way to school this morning...

Matthew: I wish I had a brother.
Me: I wish you did too.
Matthew: I'd also like a sister.
Me: I'd like you both to have another brother and sister.
Matthew: Can't you just have triplets?
Nicole: Can't we just get a trampoline?

Life really is good. I love those two!

On the way home

All the feet and the hat too are 2nd graders sleeping on the hour and fifteen minute ride back to school. Yes, all 4 of mine are snoozing.
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We are on a field trip right now at a nature center. I pointed out some pretty flowers in a garden and Duncan, age 7 asked, 'Can I stomp on them?'

What a sweet little boy :S
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Quote from a 2nd grader...

I might do that someday, I just don't have the time.

He was talking about getting a Facebook account.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to School

The kids started school a week ago Monday. Nicole is in 6th grade, Matthew is in 5th grade. I can't believe how big they are. Every year I can't believe how big they are! I have to say my favorite part about this year was the cheesy smiles though. These pics are the best of the worst.
Here are some things I LOVE about school being back in session...

*We are A LOT better about reading scriptures as a family. I don't know why it's so hard in the summer but for us it is. Sadly we average family scripture study only 3-4 times a week in the summer. Since school started, we've have 100%.

*I LOVE bedtime!! The kids are in bed at 7:30pm on every school night except Wednesday nights. As a result of this early bedtime, out whole family...give or take up and moving and HAPPY at 6am. I got to bed between 9 and 10 during the school year, typically closer to 9 and I get up at 5. The hours of 5 to 8am are my most favorite of the whole day. I LOVE THEM!

*During the school year we eat breakfast 5 days a week as a family. I love this extra time together. Once again, I don't know why we don't eat our morning meal together during the summer, but we don't. And I'm actually lying. We don't eat it together because I am too lazy to get up and cook it. I feel overwhelmed cooking 3 meals a day. For this reason, I have commissioned Ken to cook breakfast during the 2009-2010 school year. He's made it 4 times since school started...not such a bad average. That's 4 more times than he's made it the last 12 years!
There are more reasons, but I'll just start with these for now. Stay tuned because I will have MANY quotes to share with you from my class...which my class alone can be another reason I LOVE SCHOOL!

No news is...


As many of you know, Ken had a VERY IMPORTANT appointment with a nurologist on Monday. That morning he did not get up with us as we got ready for school, I figured he was getting a little more rest before going to the Dr. in hour away. I was at work for a couple of hours and I called him to see if he got to the Dr alright and I dounf out that he DID NOT GO!!! He canceled the appointment. I have to admit that it is a scary thought be agree to be electricuted, one nerve at a time, with out the possibility of any pain meds, but seriously! We have had this appointment for well over a month and to reschedule it will be another 6+ weeks. BLASTED!

Ken had a second appointment on Monday was with an orthopedic surgeon for his knee. Because he was sure this surgery would be the answer to all his medical woes, he put the nurologist out of his mind. When he got to his appointment Monday afternoon, the Dr. told him he wouldn't do surgery or even scope his knee until the nurologist has either solved his mystery or told him there was nothing more he could do for him. we are. 2 months later and no news. I'm a little frustrated but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't see Ken's point of view on this. I secretly hoped that the knee surgery would fix everything...I just wanted to know what the nurologist thought ALSO.

So that's my story.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

12 years of AwSoMeNeSs!!!

Today Ken and I have been married for 12 years. It is hard to believe that we have made it that far and it's also easy to see that we have. Sometimes our wedding day feel like it was just yesterday and other times I feel like it was 50 years ago. The only reason I can tell you that is because I know pretty much every married couple has had both emotions. Luckily for me, I feel like it was just yesterday A LOT more often that I feel the other way.
I know this picture is a rerun but I LOVE IT!

In honor of 12 years married, here are a few fun facts about US!

*We stole salt and pepper shakers from The Old Spaghetti Factory in Seattle, WA the first time we went there. We were with my sister, Heather. After about 4 years of holding said shakers hostage, I confessed to a manager and asked if we could pay for them. He said no, and told us to buy a dessert and we'd be square. I don't know how that can be the case, but we did and my conscience is clear-er, the reason we stole them in the first place is because we thought they looked like Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper from Blues Clues. Today, the kids don't watch that show anymore and ironically, we don't use the shakers either.

*In 1 day Ken and I ate breakfast is Lehi, Utah, lunch in Newport Beach, California, and Dinner in Bremerton, WA. We were tired when we finally got home.

*This is our 12th anniversary and our 5th that we have actually spent in the same state and or town. For many years I was working summers with my parents and I had jobs away from home over our anniversary. Our reasoning then and our belief now is still the's okay if we aren't together on the 9th of August every year. Although that is our anniversary, we love each other every day and don't need 1 special day to celebrate it.

*We take a separate vacation every year in July. Typically Ken goes and visits with his family and in years past I have gone and spent that time with my family. For many it wouldn't work out, but for us it does and we look forward to that time. Let it be known that we also go on vacations together every year as well.

So often when people find out how we met, they want to know the whole story with all the details...In honor of 12 years, I'll tell all my reading audience...

When I was a senior in HS, Ken was a Full Time Missionary for our church. Missionaries are not allowed to date while they are serving and I wasn't interested in that anyway. The first time I saw him, we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting on a Fast Sunday and he stood up to bear his testimony. The first things he said were, 'Hi, My name is Elder Cheney. I'm from Provo, Utah, please don't hold it against me.' At that moment, the spirit whispered to me, 'you're going to marry him.' My response back (in my head) was, 'what about him companion? He's really cute!'

After I had this experience I non chalantly asked my Mom if we could have the Elders over for dinner. She agreed and we signed up only to have them cancel the night before they were supposed to come to our home. When they canceled, we didn't invite them again for over 4 months. During this time I continued with HS and taught my Primary Class every week. Occasionally the missionaries came in for Sharing Time, but Ken and I never had 1 conversation.

About 4 months later, Ken and his new companion approached us, asking us to sign the dinner calendar. My mom did and they came over later that week. I was so NERVOUS!! For no good reason. Beside the one thought I had 4 months earlier, there was no indication that he even knew who I was and if he didn't, that would have been completely appropriate since he was a missionary!
They ate dinner with us. My parents videoed them so they could send home a tape to each of their families. Garen and Adam, 2 of my little brothers, agreed to go on splits with them. (Splits is when 2 non-missionaries volunteer to work the full time missionaries so they can creat 2 companionships and cover more area. They now call it exchanges.)

A couple weeks later, after Garen had been hanging around with them A LOT, he announced one afternoon, 'Elder Cheney said when he gets home off his mission, he's going to come back and date Dedra.' I WAS FLOORED! How many times in a girl's life is she certain she's going to marry a certain boy? ESPECIALLY in HS? Since my experience in the dating department was being friends with my guy friends and not being the girlfriend, it would be putting it mildly that I was nervous and didn't really know how to respond.

After this announcement was made, I told my mom about the experience I had when Ken was first transfered into our ward. Shortly after that, Ken had written me a long letter that was kind of a getting to know you letter. I wrote one back. He gave me a picture of himself and wrote me a lovely little poem. I said thank you and giggled a lot. While he was in our area, I graduated from HS, started working my PT job FT and we wrote letter back and forth, even though he was in my ward.

Near the end of his time in Bremerton, I started having trouble with gall-bladder, but couldn't have surgery since my insurance hadn't kicked in yet at Fred Meyer. I was off work for about 10 days, which allowed me more time to know Ken, as a missionary. I was able to drive them to appointments when my brother was on splits. On a p-day they came to our home to do laundry. 2 days after he went to a new area, I went back to work.

That was all! We wrote a couple letters back and forth and then he got a new Mission President who wouldn't allow us to converse. We spoke on the phone I think 3 times for about 5 minutes each time...he was calling to talk to my Mom and I answered the phone. All of our communication ended in July 1996.

We did see each other 1 more time before he went home but I don't really remember it. I had my Gall Bladder out in October of '96 and he in town for a Zone or District Conference. My mom was at the church dropping something off and saw him. He got permission from his president to come to the hospital and give me a blessing. That took place approx. 40 minutes after I was woken up from being under general anestesia.

Ken got home from his mission January 1997. My mom had been in contact with his mom and she had volunteered to cater his homecoming party, so we went to Utah very shortly after he got home.

January 24 was our first date. I was really sick when he arrived to pick me up but I went anyway. We went out with Ken's friends, the Darringtons, now our friends, along with a few other people that I don't remember. We went ot Mexican, my favorite, but I was too sick to eat. I had a temperature over 100 degrees and secretly just wanted to go home. After dinner, we drove around looking for something to do, the bowling alley was packed so we went back to Randy's parents house...they were out of town. Everyone started doing their own thing, so Ken and I left and went back to his hose and watched a movie with his parents.

The next night we doubled with his Brother and Sister in Law, Brian and Susi. Went to the movie, 'That Thing You Do' at the dollar theater in Provo.

The next night was his homecoming talk at church and his homecoming party that night at his home. That night we played phase 10 with 6 other people and ate a lot of good food. When he drove me back to the house we were staying at that night, I told him that I got my temple recommend but didn't have a date set yet. He told me that night that he'd fly up when I went through. While he was driving me home that night, he ran a red light ON PURPOSE and I told myself when I got out of the car I could never marry him.

The next morning I flew back home and we talked on the phone every night. I set my temple date on February 15 and flew in on the 12th. On the 14th we ate dinner together at Heather and Farrell's house. He spent the night in my parent's living room and the next morning I went through the temple. On the 16th, we went to church together in my ward, the ward he served in. That night around 10 we went for a walk around my neighborhood and down to Lion Field, about a mile away...

This is how our engagement came to be...We were walking and talking and it was mostly Ken doing the talking. He was saying things like...I don't want to be engaged a very long time. I'd like to start a family soon. I think I'll probably live in Washington. I don't want my wife to have to work after the kids get here. I think getting married in Seattle would be perfect. Finally I asked him, 'are we engaged?' His reply??? 'Yeah, I guess so.' YOU CALL THAT AN ENGAGEMENT? HMPH! But that is how it went and we were engaged that night. We got home around midnight and since it wasn't Sunday anymore, we went to Shari's the celebrate. The next day we set our wedding date. He called his mom and told her he was moving back to Washington, and 3 1/2 weeks later, he did. He lived with my sister, Wendi and her family while we were engaged except for a short week or so where he stayed with Heather and Farrell...but they moved out of their hosue.

August 9th, we got married in the Seattle Temple. I was 19, he was 21 and had been home from his mission a short 7 months. We lost our clutch in my clunker car on the way home from Bellevue, so we ended up piling Ken and me, the Darringtons--Jessie was 8 1/2 months pregnant, along with Mom and Dad and 4 siblings into their car and drove home on one of the hottest days of the year with no AC. It was AWESOME.
and that's our story...12 years later, I wouldn't change any of it. I LOVE YOU KEN!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another Update...

I know this is a long overdue post, but I have been putting it off because I dn't really have any new information...

Ken met with a nurologist a few weeks ago and it was not very informative and we didn't really learn anything from it. What they did tell us, or confirm to us, was things that we already knew.

*Ken does NOT have a brain tumor or brain cancer.
*He 100% does NOT have MS.
*The best one...'I don't really know what is wrong with you!' a direct quote from a seasoned nurologist.

Since that day he has han another MRI on his knee. He also has an appt with the same nurolgist's office to have a Nerve Conduction Study done on August 24. This might let us know more.

When he had the MRI in his knee done, they found that he has a small tear in the cartilage of his knee. Ironically, his appointment with an orthopedic surgeon is ALSO on August 24. There is some suggestion (and hope) that if that tear is bad enough/old enough that is may be a lot of the problem. What was once a small pain could have excalated to much more. It would not explain the loss of arm use or his speech, but the loss of leg use could be explained, depending on what they find.

During all of the testing they have been doing on him, they have also discovered that he is pre-diabetic. The test results are closer to diabetes than not, and they have given him meds to help keep tha tin control and told him to get to the gym...he's working into that still.

I promise to update when I find out more about whta we learn his 2 appts...probably NOT exactly on the 24th though, since they would be the day I am having oral surgery done...don't ask me why.

As for how Ken is doing right now, I am glad to say he as rotten as ever. He has a lot of his strength back in his leg. He has been going to the gym with me and he can go for about 30 minutes on a treadmill before he starts hurting. They have him on 3 different kinds of meds to control pain and that is making him really tired. He's doing a great job at functioning though. His spirits are high and he seems to be getting back to his normal self for which I am so grateful.

and that's my story...for now. Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. They have been heard.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

This and That...

Regular happenings...

*The kids are doing good at piano lessons. All of the sudden I am thankful that I waited until they were a little older before I started teaching them. At first I was upset because of how far they COULD be but I'm just really grateful that they are doing well right now.

*We have been going to the library everyday. Please don't get it in your mind that all of the sudden we are a bunch of, not the case. They have free wireless internet and the kids can use the laptops to play Farm Town on Facebook. An excellent time waster indeed. I am glad they are playing a virtual farm instead of a virtual shoot 'em up video game.

Other happenings...

*I am all done school clothes shopping for my kids. I went to 3 thrift stores and a consignment shop (I know, it's a thrift store) and I bought all the kids' clothes for 72 dollars.

*I have gone to the gym 6 days a week for the past 3 weeks and I am beginning to think that it might not be my arch nemisis after all. That doesn't mean that I like it. It just means that I don't HATE it anymore.

*I had 2 days of inservice this week. School starts a week from Monday.

*I killed my aloe vera plant. That is why I did NOT post a picture of it when I got it...because I am a murderer of all horticulture. It's true, I have ruined a fake flower arrangment.

*I am going to be now.

Dear Kate...

I heart this cat...

Am I cured?

Monday, August 3, 2009

The library

Matthew: Can we go home now?
Me: In just a minute.
Matthew: when?
Me : after I get a book.
Matthew: so basically the library is like the mall and you are shopping for books.
Me: I guess so (trying not to laugh at his assessment.)
Matthew: that is CRAZY!

Funny little boy.
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