Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life Begins at the end of your comfort zone

I have thought often of posting updates, and pictures to our blog,  especially since we move to Utah.  For some reason my plate has been so incredibly full,  I haven't found time to do the things that I love the most.  One of which it keeping a journal of my adventures.  I find that I learn so much from my mistakes, and experiences, i want to make sure I can remember it all when I an old.  (My mind seems to be the first to be going lately)  I can't decide if it is just because my brain is so full, with everyone's Stuff, or if there is just too much information in there.  I need to clear out.  Either way,  today I am dumping some of it out, so I can be ready to fill it with what I want in there instead of just STUFF.

As a little boy, Tanner was so incredibly determined to do everything his own way, and on his own, and "by myself"  you get the picture.   It was frustrating as a mom, well at least for me. (he was my first)   I  had dreamed of helping and doing so many things with my kids, and having those perfect "Mommy moments" in my head that would come true.  Tanner broke all the rules for that, and I learned quickly, this boy had to do things in his own way.  He needed the satisfaction of completing his own projects, games, or accomplishments.  It was so true in many of the things he did.  He definitely had his own beat.  After completing his tasks, whether that was stacking his blocks, or lining up the cars, or climbing the side of the house to get onto the porch,  He would always stand and exclaim, "I DID IT!"  This has been his catch phrase for the rest of his life,  good or bad. Little did I know when he was young, how much he would need that confidence and determination to weather through all the curve balls life has through at him.

Tanner received his diagnosis of Tourette Syndrome at age 9.  He has triumphed in so many ways to be such a great example of over coming your label, and disability.  Although I don't think he has ever thought of having it that way.  (You can catch up on his adventures with TS here,  Since moving to Utah,  he has blossomed in his new home.  He has made friends, excelled in swimming, chamber choir, and many other areas.  It really has been a time for personal growth for him.  He has come to his own.  I am so proud and happy for all he has accomplished after all of the long hard years he had trying to find his niche
He even kept a sense of humor to it all as well.  He had a tic where he had to clap his palms together at the top.  It look like a toddler learning to clap when he would do it.  You know us, we have to give our tics a name, so this one became the "I DID IT!" tic.  Every time he would clap he would say that.  It made us laugh every time.

Just before we moved from Ohio,  we received another diagnosis for Tanner,  this time it had to do with his eyes.  He was diagnosised with Kerataconis. (I think that's is how you spell it).  It is a degenerative eye disease, that is genetically predisposed in families.  Seriously,  how do we get all of these, when Aaron and I have never seen any of this in our families. (Or at least that is talked about)  This eye disease, affects the cornea, and basically, as the eyes develop and grown the cornea goes into a coning shape.  Tanner's left eye was affected.  So we got glasses, and special contacts and went on our way to Utah to find a specialist there.  We did just that, and thought we had it under control.  At least they told us that it shouldn't progress much more until he was older.

Well, that wasn't true, especially when you have an eye poking tic, where you have to push on on your eye with your knuckle.  I thought we had overcome this one because Tanner was better about pushing the bridge of his nose instead.  However, I think the damage was done.  I have often wondered over the years if the physical nature of the tics would take their toll on Tanner's body.  I guess this would be an example of "taking a toll".  
We were told that Tanner has lost most of the sight in his left eye due to the Kerataconis.  He is a 20/400 or a -25 in that eye.  Pretty much that means it  good for just periphial vision.  Talk about a punch to the stomach, to know that your 17 year old is going blind.   You know it isn't good, when the eye specialist, makes the comment, of "Oh my, or HMMMM.) Not good news is coming.  Well after seeking many opinions, on how to proceed, and try to save Tanner's eye sight, we came to the conclusion that having a Cornea Transplant is the only option for his bad eye.  However, you are talking about a SUPER active teenager who has plans to serve a mission for our church in 6 months.  This was not fitting into his plan.  However, with Tanner's pure determination, AGAIN, and some good doctor's we have decided to wait on that procedure until after his mission.  This will give his tics a little more time to simmer down and also give Tanner time to settle down with age too.  (ba ha ha) I don't think he will ever do that.  
We are tackling the good eye, in a preventative way by having what's called "Cross-Linking" done.  This is where they take high potency vitamins and riboflavin drops and put them on the eye, with light treatment.  It should strengthen the fibers in his good eye to keep the disease from progressing.  The down side,  it will render Tanner somewhat blind for a couple of weeks.  This should be interesting keeping him down, and helping him around at school and home, says the kid who has been wanting to do everything on his own FOREVER.  We still have the cornea transplant to face in a couple of years, that's inevitable.

I just hope this is the beginning of good news for him,  and less medical issues to deal with as a young man.  I am sure that at the end of it all,  he will be exclaiming, "I DID IT!"

Our Hooper House, Summer 2012

Our Hooper House- before Yard

Family Room Before-
Bathroom- After Tile

Family Room- After Drywall-Before electrical and paint

Boys Room after drywall-Before Paint

My Garden Boxes, Waiting for Dirt and veges

It was all a good rough start, and a great way for new beginnings.  I will be posted our finished projects here in the next couple of weeks.  We have had a lot of work going on.  I asked for dirt for my birthday this year. How's that for a Happy Birthday Present!!  I am excited!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What? It's May?

Somewhere between moving to Utah, house hunting, moving from apartment to house, to finishing a basement, finishing my last academic semester in college and preparing to student teach, oh, yes, I remember, AND keep my 5 kids in check, and acclamated to our new surroundings, I forgot to POST on my  BLOG.  How could I ever forget to do that?  I have had visions of revamping things, and getting back to documenting my life, and reconnecting.  Life has been so great for us in our new home.  I really should share.  Well,  I will.  I have been taking pictures of our Weekend Warrior projects on our new house, and trying to be vigilant in keeping track of the big moments for my kids.  I am thinking that things have settled into an almost rhythm that I can try one more time to get the hang of this blogging thing again.  (Don't hold your breath though)  You may turn blue in the face with frustration, like I do on most days that my to do list isn't getting any smaller.  I am trying though,  thats all that counts. 

I am still trying to locate Conner's adorable school picture, and Weston, he seems to keep slinking out of getting his school picture information home so we can actually purchase a school picture.  I think the last one is from 6th grade.  I will have to scan the latest track photo of him, so that we can show you what he looks like.

In a brief update-  you will hear about all the latest and greatest adventure for the kids.  I am so excited to give you the tell all, of how we are doing with our Tourettes, and all the other activities the kids have been working towards their goals.  I am so glad that our move here has been full of positive outcomes, and Aaron and I are feeling better, and so much less STRESS.  I have no idea why, but for some reason the changes we made a year ago, have had a very positive outcome on our life.  Scary- to make the changes- and reach out in the wild, blue yonder, but I am so thankful we had enough faith to believe we could make it.  Here is to our new adventures, and life in the wild, wild west.  I am so glad we had the courage to forge ahead.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A "Great" Day

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I decided to finally post some pictures of our adventures here in our new home or Utah.  Of course I will start with the ones that are the most fun.  Great Grandma and Grandpa Breinholt's house.  We got to visit them for the first time in 7 years in August.  I felt like a little kid visiting my grandparents.  I wanted to just climb up on Grandma's lap and have a snuggle. (Funny how you never grow out of those feelings)  Don't worry  I resisted, the urged, and just sat next to Grandma. I felt just as happy to be around them as I did as a kid.  I have never lived close by them to enjoy all the festivities and fun all the time, but I certainly have wonderful memories,  just as my kids do, with the swings, and Grandpa's Garden.  The boys especially loved Grandpa sharing his World War II stories, and souveneirs.  I felt very blessed to hear the stories too.  I had never heard them either. I am just so thrilled they are able to spend time with them now, and enjoy them.  I felt like we were just a part of this really great love story about an Incredibly brave man, Verle Breinholt and his sweetheart Gladys. 

The best part was Celebrating Great Grandpa's 93rd Birthday with him.  We have never been able to celebrate with them before.  It was so much fun for the kids to meet their cousins for the first time, and enjoy a great picnic and family time in Uncle Glen and Aunt Kerri's backyard.  It was fun to catch up- and see how everyone has grown.  Great Grandpa has such a legacy, and he keeps track of us all.  I was told he has an index card in his wallet so he can remember who is due to have a baby, leave on a mission or get married.  We are all accounted for, and he has a sweet spot for each of us.  He makes sure that the numbers are all counted.  I can't say that I really knew how many of we have blossomed into.  I lost track several years ago, and didnt' keep up with all the new babies coming.  There was a sign celebrating all of us.  Great Grandpa and Grandma have 10 children, 53 Grandchildren, 96 Great Grandchildren.  My grandparents are amazing.  Can you see why we love them so much?  How can you not?
And in true form,  since the wind was blowing so hard,  Great Grandpa lights up his napkin attempting to light his candles.  It is true that Breinholts like to play with fire.  I love it!
Happy 93rd Birthday Great Grandpa

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Little trip to Up State New York

How Cute are these Grandparents?  Well pretty darn cute to me.  They are at the top of my "Cute Grandma and Grandpa" lists.  (You know I do keep an eye out for cute Grannies and Grandpas)  The best time to find them out and about is in the Spring buying flowers for their gardens, Mowing their yards with sweatbands, crew high dress socks, Large headphones, and trax tennis shoes in the Summer, and in the winter- Krogering just before a snowstorm, with the determination of getting stocked up, to Hunker down for a few days.  (They like to don, colorful stocking caps during this time)  I love Grandpas, and grandmas.  Eww I just love them, especially Grandpa's with bushy untrimmed eyebrows. 
These Cute grandparents are Grandpa and Grandma Breinholt to the kids or Elder and Sister Breinholt to the Youth at Seneca Lake Girls Camp (New York) where they are serving a 6 month church mission.  We had to take  advantage of them being so close this summer-  10 hour drive sure beats a 3 day drive any day.  Since there is so many wonderful Church history sites there,  we decided to take a short vacation to see them and the sites, and spend a day at Seneca Lake, lake front.  It was wonderful!  The kids enjoyed the Lake from every day they could get in there to play.  There were minnows, swimming around, (evading capture of course) There were butterflies, and the best part was hanging out in the canoes, and paddle boats.  Grandpa had some chores to finish up there and Tanner and Weston were just the crew to dive in and get it all done for him.  Aaron was the rower for the anchor adjustments, and everyone was thrilled when the dock was secured.

Conner was just happy to be in the water- any other event or site seeing trip, was not on his list of To Do's for this vacation. He managed with bribery to go to the lake if he was good. 

 Weston and the "Gandolf Staff"
 Paddle Boating
Mason- Minnow watching-  He wasn't so hip on the Lake idea- He kept asking about what was in a lake, and what all the green stuff was.  I think it kind of grossed him out, and then the OCD kicked in a bit.  He was happy to just watch minnows, and paddle boat. 
 Haven testing the Water- It is still chilly in June-  She was loving swimming and kicking around-
 Mason- Haven -Conner Trying to set up their bait to catch Minnows.
We didn't have the heart to tell them the moss probably wouldn't work.  They were doing such a great job using their imagination, I thought they just might be lucky and catch one.  Minnows are fast, little suckers.
 Tanner with our Monarch Butterfly-(See explanation for bald head)
Explanation on the bald head-  Here is where a mother could just skin a teen-ager alive... However, in this case, the teenager skinned himself with a razor- of course it was the night before we left, and the parents didn't see it until 5 am the next morning.  Crazy kid-  He told me it was a "Tic of the mind"  he just couldn't get the thought out of his head- shave your head, shave your head, so he did it so he would stop thinking of it.  In my mothering mind, I am thinking, this would be a time when he is seriously pulling my head.  I had told him all week after a summer buzz cut, DO NOT Shave your head, (because he was asking repeatedly too)  Well,  he shaved his head- afterwards he realized he looked like a dork.  The funny thing if you look in our family picture,  he is standing right next to his Dad, Aaron.  They look identical.  I think he was really just trying to be like his DAD.  That is what we told him to say so people wouldn't think he was a cancer patient.  At least it wasn't a Tattoo- or him telling us he had done drugs or something.  It was just shaving the head, and it has grown back.  The "tic of the mind" (cough, cough) is GONE!  No more urges to do that after the razzing he took on Vacation.
Family Photo- Smith Family Farm- Thrashing Barn
Notice how true to life this is- Bald headed teenager- and 5 year old rebelling against his mother!
Other than that- WE'RE GOOD!

 Weston- Checking out the Butterfly- It had a torn wing
 Conner and Haven Hunting for Shells-
 Swim goggles are a must for good vision to find them.
Haven spent 3 days hunting for shells, which wasn't hard, they were everywhere. We learned the plathora of shells were from Zebra Mussels that have invaded the "Finger lakes area". She did find clam shells, and other rock treasures as well. It makes it all worth the treasure hunt to see how much you can find. 

 Tanner, Grandpa, & Weston paddling around
Aaron and Grandpa reseting the bouy anchors- (5 gallon buckets filled with cement)
Try pulling that up from 6 feet under water-

Grandpa's Floating Dock

I think I need to find a house on a lake front- with canoes and paddle boats, minnows, and Grandparents.  I wonder if there will be that in Utah?  Grandparents will be, we may have to find a water front to hang out at. 

Coming up- Church History Sites-  (too many pictures to post all at once)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Little Redemption or so I think

Okay let me splain,   NO! Let me sum up-  There has been a long gap in my postings here, I know.  Tremendous amount of fun that can't be caught up on in one paragraph or post.  However, an explanation is well deserved for those of you who have kept in contact with me through other means.  Thanks for hanging tight.
I am sure if you look a few posts ago,  I wrote about a CREEPER- that I had stalking me, my family, my facebook, twitter, blog, basket website, and so on and so forth.  He had networked himself so far into my life electronically, and otherwise, I literally had cut all ties to everything I could think of him possibly linking to.  He was linking through other peoples profiles, since we had common friends, and websites we went to.  Sadly, it was someone in our Tourettes Community here in Ohio.  He can only be known as CREEPER- from now on because of the things he tried to involve himself with my boys  and the HUGE red flags that were flapping for sexual predator.  I wanted to protect my family, and now that I have been able to keep things at bay for a year or so I think I can try to start my blog posting again, and let everyone back into my life.  I thought I would try our old blog one more time, and if I have problems, I will just start a completely new blog.  (Yes I have tried going private) a whole other sumation would be required for that one.

I hope that is a good explanation to sum up- Does it give me a little redemption for not posting?  I have a lot to fill in the blanks with,  especially since this event will be coming up in about 5-6 weeks.

It is for real-  It makes absolutely no sense why we are moving, well at least logical sense, which I am not good at anyways.  Logical and well thought out is Aaron's department,mine is spontaneous and following my heart.  However, this is Aaron's idea to start, and I encouraged, but now the roles have switched.  I am trying to be logical, he is following his heart, and we have compromised on following our spiritual promptings in complete faith, and it seems JUST NUTS!  But all is well, and we are working for a common goal.  You will have to stay tuned for the follow up post, that gives the explanation and the story of how the MOVE out west came to be.  (did I mention Utah?) Yes, Weber County Utah, Ogden area-ish, back where we left 12 years ago.  I think we made the same crazy move to Ohio 10 years ago.  You know it has to be a good story then, if we are doing this twice.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tanner's Eagle Project Boyd Smith Elementary Nature Center

Tanner did a fabulous job this summer planning and preparing for his Eagle Project.  He chose to clean up the Nature trails that have been overgrown for the last 10 years at his old Elementary school, Boyd E Smith, in Milford School district.  It was a HUGE undertaking, and I know that you all think that the parents do most of the work on these projects, however,  Aaron and I were determined to make sure that Tanner was the only learning the skills and accomplishing his goal he set out for.
You know Tanner,  He doesn't do anything small.  Tanner' is a Go BIG or GO HOME kindof kid.  So it was a Big project, and we didn't go home until it was all finished. 

Aaron did a great job showing Tanner how to get things organized, and we had our Eagle Scout project meeting every night for the last month, so Tanner could create his list and followups each day.  He did and amazing job,  He went out into the community and asked for Donations from local companies for products, discounts on products, food donations, for breakfast and Lunch, and water, and gatorade.  His total of donations for cash and products totaled $965.00. 

Tanner was great to figure out how to divide the work up into sections and crews, which he then asked a volunteer to be foreman over that area.  It worked out great, Aaron was the Foreman over the Chainsaw crew, Brother Tom Cupps was foreman over the Chipping crew, Bridge #1 Foreman was Brother Mike Belliston, Foreman over Bridge 2 building- Grandpa Breinholt- Foreman over Hill Terracing- Brother Leo Prince, and Brother Jeff Snowden-  The Foreman on the Hexagon- Joe Schneider- Tanner had 65 people volunteer their help and assistance- which meant that total- on Day 1 we all worked 4 hours, and on Day 2 everything was completed in 4 hours, that is what you call many hands make light work.  Incredible.  Everything worked like a well oiled machine, and Tanner was able to stand back and oversee and enjoy working with everyone on the crews.  There were no injuries, no major mistakes, and the only supplies that we had to go and get was some extra boards for Bridge #1 because there were more damaged than expected with the move.  It was a great day.

I am so proud of Tanner, and the amazing job he did in making all the phone calls and spending all the days out in the community in uniform, talking with people, and following up with them.  He also made reminder calls, and emails, and was so good to stand up each week to talk about what was going on.  The Bishop gave Tanner a huge compliment on Sunday,  He told Tanner that was the best Eagle Project he had ever been involved with.  Which is saying a lot for our Bishop because he was the Scout Master for 8 years previous to being called as our Bishop, and he has 4 sons. 

When I look at what Tanner was able to accomplish, at his choice of projects, and all of his efforts, it is amazing.  The support he recieved was so incredible, and everyone worked so hard.    I am so proud that he has had such a successful project.

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