Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mt. Rushmore or Bust!

Wednesday, September 9th, Troy received a call from the contractor he works for. There was a problem with an a/c unit in Gillette, Wyoming. Gillette is only an hour to hour and half away from Mt. Rushmore and I thought it would be great if we used the business trip to help our family to be able to visit Mt. Rushmore. Troy agreed, and while all the kids were in school on Thursday I packed all their clothes and all the food so we could leave that night. Everything went smoothly. We reached Gillette and after 3 hrs of work we headed to South Dakota to find a place to camp. It was beautiful. Troy's mom had told us she had been there twice and a cloud was covering Mt. Rushmore both times, so I was worried about driving all that way for nothing. I prayed hard that it wouldn't be a wasted trip. Saturday morning we woke to rain. I thought, great. We packed up and proceeded to the mountain and it continued to rain. As we reached the viewing site we were pretty depressed thinking that there was no way we would see Mt. Rushmore but lo and behold there it was in all it's glory. I laughed and told Troy that next time I should be a little more specific with my prayers. It continued to rain constantly. We toured around and Vance was the first one to get his Jr. Ranger badge and was very proud of that. We decided to head out and find another place to camp and decided to head towards home out of the rain to do so. While driving we saw the sign for Crazy Horse Mountain and decided to stop and check it out. They had a huge museum of Native American artifacts. It was really neat. Vance got hurt while there. He was hopping and his shoe hit a crack in the concrete and over he fell right on his face. He got scraped up a bit but nothing to horrible. We continued our journey out of South Dakota with the plan of stopping to camp at Glendo Resevoir in Wyoming.
About an hour before our destination we stop for gas and food. I took over driving so Troy could eat. Not more than 15 miles out of the town, I was trying to pass a car when the truck lost all power. Luckily the car let us get over to pull off the side of the road. As we looked at the two lane highway we worried. It was quite desolate. Not more than 5 minutes passed when a truck pulled over to help and he actually thought he knew what the problem was and proceeded to fix the truck. It worked! We were amazed and ever so grateful. We said a family prayer and proceeded to Glendo. Just a measly 1 mile from the Glendo turn off the truck did the same thing as before. It was dark and wouldn't you know it, raining again! Ugh! Troy tried to do the same thing as before and we got it started and only got 100 yds. when it did it again. We didn't know what to do. Truck after truck and car passed and no one would stop for us. After about an hour we called Troy's brother who's a mechanic to see if he had any ideas. He couldn't help and so he looked up towing services nearby and gave us the numbers. We started calling and they were all the wrong number or in a different town than listed on the internet. One towing company gave us new numbers to try and we also asked him for the highway patrol number just in case. We tried the numbers and again they weren't correct or no one would answer so we called highway patrol who gave us even more numbers. Again no answer until the very last number. At this point 2 hrs had passed. We finally had a tow truck on the way and it was capable of holding our whole family, barely. As well as to tow our camper with the truck. We waited another hour for him. While waiting I got numbers to local hotels where we could stay the night in the little town we were headed for. We were towed in the opposite direction as we were headed to the town of Douglas. We were blessed by the hotel we went to. They quoted me $90. per night but when we got there the gave us the walk in special of $65. and they kept that rate the whole time they were there. They gave the kids permission to swim in the pool with their shorts since we didn't bring any suits. We had coupons for breakfast which was free or nearly so. Troy thought the problem was the fuel filter and Sunday morning he went to the auto part store and proceeded to fix the truck. Not the problem though. Ugh! The repair shop wasn't open until Monday. We had to have the truck towed Monday to the repair shop. They scoped out the situation and came to the conclusion they found the problem but they didn't have the tool to fix it. They called around and found a mechanic that had worked to the GMC dealership before it shut down and he had the part and the knowledge to fix it. Then they discovered that they needed some seals which they had to have shipped UPS. So the truck sat again for another day. We spent 5 nights and days at the hotel. Very boring. The kids took turns on who got to sleep on the bed each night. Let me mention that the first night at 3:00 am Vance woke up and threw up on the bed. Poor Brianna. She ended up on the floor after all. We watched a lot of t.v. and swam. We walked to a school nearby and let the kids play on the playground. We also walked a mile to a pioneer museum and then walked back and had ice-cream at the McDonalds. Finally the truck was finished Thursday afternoon. We decided to push it hard and get home so we put a pull up on Vance and took off. How grateful we are to be home. How grateful we are for all the love and concern shown us by friends, family and the strangers who took us under wing during our stay in Douglas. They went above and beyond what was required and we so appreciate it. This is one fast, cheap vacation that ended up very long and very expensive but one we will never forget.

Friday, August 7, 2009

News on Troy

Yesterday Troy went in for more blood work and an ultrasound. His liver, gall bladder, kidneys and pancreas all look great. Now we wait for the results of the blood work. Hopefully it's even better than the last one. If it is he goes back in a month to see if it's normal. He still has to take pills to help with the nausea but it's a lot better than before. They think he'll live. LOL! They have two theories: 1- He had hepatitis and it's getting better(they can't test for all forms of hepatitis).
2-An overload from all the antibiotics he was on.
Whatever it was doesn't matter that much as long as it's going away. I am so glad he feels better.

On a side note, my sister from Alaska is moving back here and will be staying with my mom until her husband can sell there mobile home and come here. I have mixed feelings about it. The two of us have had a lot of problems. I can deal with her in small doses and her being gone has done wonders for our relationship. I hope it will be okay.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Girls Camp

I just wanted to take some time and blog about the girls camp I helped chaperone. Brianna and I rode to the camp in Franks car and enjoyed the music from the 50's. Well, at least I did. Much to everyone's chagrin I have found a new radio station. When we got to camp we quickly started to unpack but not quick enough for the banana bread Shelbi had made. A bushy tailed grey squirrel climbed into her truck and proceded to have a snack, right through the plastic zip locked bag. We enjoyed the luxeries of cabins with bunks, picnic tables, refrigerators, sinks, showers and most important flushing toilets. What a beautiful area Heber is. We were able to learn about the pioneers who traveled through and settled the area, folklore, as well as flora and local animals. We went boating on a nearby lake. The 3 women, including myself, got a paddle boat. We thought we got the easy one until we started peddling. Talk about a lot of work and not much progress, but we had a great time laughing about it and just being goofy and silly. The men, namely Jared and Frank, were trying undo our rutter in jest. Lucky for them they couldn't do it. You see they were the rescue team for the lake and if they succeeded in dismantling our boat they would have to tow us in. I went to a training meeting to learn how to work a game in the challenge course and it was opened with a prayer and I felt the spirit so strongly that I had to fight back tears. It is amazing how close you feel to God when you are in the mountains around so much beauty and animals. When it came time for the challenge course once again I was strongly hit with the spirit. So much symbolism and truth was revealed on that course. The need to help others on their journey as well as the need to allow others to help you. The best part of it all was Testimony meeting and the chance to be with Brianna and to get to know her in a different type of way and to watch how she interacts with the other girls. I think she will love the Young Womens program. I wish Liz had been able to come up. Work got in the way though. Thank you Shelbi for all your work and dedication to and for the girls. I really appreciate it. All the pictures are hanging up in the church hallway for this little expedition.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Brianna!

Brianna's birthday blog is late, no fault of my own.  The 2 of us were at girls camp for her birthday July 22nd.  We had a wonderful, spiritual time up there.  We were able to do some bonding.  Brianna and I had a rocky start when she was born.  She was unfortunate to arrive during the time my husband and I were having all our problems and were seriously contemplating divorce.  I think all the stress I was going through transferred to her.  She was born at Cottonwood hospital and weighed an even 7 pounds and was 19 inches long.  I wanted to name her Celestia but lost the argument in the hospital with Troy and his mom.  I was so frustrated I said, "FINE!".  Her name is now Brianna Celeste, at least I got a portion of what I wanted.  Brianna has the distinguished honor of bearing the female version of my brothers name, Brian.  He is the one who blessed her when he returned from his mission.  Brianna spent a lot of time crying in the middle of the night and the only way to get her to stop was to do the Priesthood bounce.  Ugh!!!!!!  Talk about hard on the arms.  As soon as you stopped she would start crying.  I spent hours doing this at night.  One Sunday morning Brianna was crying and I happened to turn on the t.v. to drown her out and I put on the Tabernacle Choirs Music and The Spoken Word.  Miracle of all miracles she instantly quieted.  Talk about music soothing the savage beast!!!  I feel bad that most of my memories of Brianna are more negative.  I spent many nights and days praying that I would like her.  Now she is such a joy in my life, always willing to help and love me.  She has brought me breakfast in bed, made her dad buy me an ice-cream cake for my birthday, and numerous other things.  She reminds me a lot of me when I was her age(12).  I passed the family Christmas Nativity director on to her.  She is the one to get all the cousins together and make costumes and practice for the play.  I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it.  Her creativity amazes me.  She's smart, loves to read, loves to camp, four wheel and hike.  She has a great love of animals and sleeps with both our dogs.  She does a wonderful job of helping watch Vance when I need a break.  I know Brianna had a rocky start but it will be a wonderful journey a long the way.  Thank you Brianna for being you and Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Like father like son...

True colors of Greg


Troy's rash has turned the corner.  It is actually looking better after 3 antibiotic shots and about 3000 mg of oral antibiotics.  Yay!!!!!  The high doses though has messed up his appetite and gives him some flu like symptoms.  We were warned about it.
We went to the Ward camp out and had fun.  We had Brianna and her friend watch 5 kids while the 3 sets of parents went to lunch.  I think the conversation we had was better than lunch.  It was a bit pricey.  It rained part of the time but not to bad.  Vance decided to copy the big boys and got into the mud puddle located in the middle of the campsite (check Collette's blog for a picture).  I was okay with it but after we had to clean him up and it smelled like he rolled in cow manure.  Ugh!!!!  Gross!!!!!  Thank heaven kids are washable.  Dad wasn't to happy with it.  We didn't have our camera but we did have the video camera.  On Saturday while everyone was packing up to go our friend Shane came up with his boat and took us boating for a few hours.  It was a blast.  I got sunburned.  Not to badly though.
Vance also learned how to ride a bike without training wheels this week.  I guess it's the summer for all the neighborhood kids to learn that.  Vance saw Tyson riding his bike and decided that he wanted to try.  He was determined to push start it himself and couldn't quite get it.  Sam pushed him off and off he went.  I got a picture on my cell phone but no way to download it.  Sorry!  That was the end of the lesson and he didn't give it a try again for almost a week when Tyson gave Vance his little bike.  In a matter of minutes he was off and riding.  No help needed.  That was the easiest child to teach how to ride a bike since I didn't have to do anything other than sit back and watch.  What a determined child.  I just love him so much.
Troy, Sarah and Vance have gone to Scofield with the Pitts.  I will join them with Jacob late tonight.  This week is EFY and Jake and Liz are there.  On the first day Jake found out that his hair didn't meet the For Strength of Youth standards.  I guess I should have read it before I sent him.  He had to get his hair cut or leave.  Liz called and told me about it saying that they had someone there who could cut hair.  I asked to talk to Jake and he told me he didn't want to cut his hair and I told him it would grow back.  He insisted.  So I told him I wouldn't force him to do it and to come home.  I was pretty mad and frustrated at that point because I knew that the Stake paid for it and they couldn't get their money back.  After a few minutes I thought that maybe I should go pick him up so I text Liz and asked her if he needed a ride.  She text me back saying that Jake had decided to cut his hair.  I am so proud of him! Of course it's not as short as I want it to be but it barely fits into the standard.  Baby steps, right?  I can't wait for long hair to go out of style again.  I didn't like the 70's style the first time around.  Back to the story of going to Scofield, our kids get to ride on a float and throw candy.  So Cool!!
Some may be wondering what happened to Greg during the Ward camp out.  He got caught by the police with his friends at my house drinking alcohol.  He and his friends all received tickets and Troy showed up and had a good talk with all of the boys.  Hopefully this won't happen again.  I think I have updated everything.  Have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend to all.